Smiths profits increase fuelled by acquisition

BRITAIN’S biggest wholesaler of newspapers, magazines and books Smiths News posted a 10 per cent rise in full-year underlying pre-tax profits, boosted by cost cuts and the acquisition of Dawson Holdings.

Nearly two years after buying Dawson Holdings’ news and magazine units, Smiths News bought the remaining assets of its rival to expand its international and digital book markets. Smiths News said it would continue to reduce costs after having delivered cost savings of £22m in financial year 2011.

The final dividend was hiked by eight per cent to 5.4p, taking the total dividend to 8p per share. September-August underlying pretax profit was £38.6m, compared with £35m last year.

However, revenue was down 5.2 per cent to £1.7bn, hurt by cover price inflation.