Smiths News has insisted it remains on track to deliver pre-tax profits in line with expectations, despite a fall in sales.

The newstrade wholesaler said its revenues had fallen 2.8% on a like-for-like basis in the 19 weeks to 9 July – despite the boost of the Royal Wedding.

Sales in its Bertrams books business fell 7.5% during the period, but Smiths said recent trading had been “stronger, with like-for-like sales for the most recent six-week period being in line with last year”.

Last month Smiths revealed plans to buy the book-publishing arm of former rival Dawson News in a deal worth £20m.

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