Smiths News sees profit lift

Newspaper and magazine distributor Smiths News first-half underlying pre-tax profit rose 11 per cent on cost cuts, and the company said it expected the royal wedding to boost its magazine sales in the second half. September to February underlying pre-tax profit was £19.2m, compared with £17.3m last year. Revenue, however, fell 5.2 per cent to £872.3m, hurt by lower sales at its books business, Bertrams. The company has set out a cost-efficiency programme to save £20m by 2013. Smiths News shares have shed 27 per cent since the company warned in October that it was cautious about its recovery prospects.