Smiths News signals shift in focus

Smiths News, the UK’s largest newspaper and magazine distributor, yesterday signalled a further shift from its core business, saying it expected half of its profit to come from books and educational supplies by 2016, sending its shares up six per cent. For the year to August, underlying pre-tax profit rose to £47.5m from £38.6m a year earlier. Revenue rose four per cent to £1.8bn. Bertrams’ UK wholesale sales rose 2.5 per cent.