(Alliance News) - Smiths News PLC on Wednesday said trade in the year ending August 31 remains in line with market expectations amid contract wins and renewals.

Smiths News is a Swindon, England-based newspaper and magazine distributor. News UK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US media conglomerate News Corp. It owns The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun.

The company said it has secured contract renewals across 74% of its current publisher revenue streams to at least 2029, underpinning revenues in the medium-term, alongside continuing to secure additional national and regional contract awards.

Back in October, the distributor announced it had been awarded an additional contract from News UK & Ireland Ltd for the exclusive dispersal of the newspaper publisher's titles across Smiths News's existing London distribution areas.

Smiths News said the contract is an extension of the five-year deal penned in April, and it will distribute News UK titles through to 2029.

Distribution to Smiths News's 2,500 London retailers began in November, with the firm saying it will account for around GBP27 million in current sales per year.

Additionally, in November the distributor announces a new five-year contract with London-based magazine distributor Marketforce (UK) Ltd.

Analyst consensus expects an adjusted operating profit of GBP38.1 million for Smiths News' financial year. In financial 2023, adjusted operating profit was GBP38.8 million.

"I am pleased to confirm that 2024 has started positively, and the group remains on track to deliver financial results in line with market expectations for the year. Whilst we are cognisant of the ongoing financial pressure on consumers and the broader macro-economic outlook, our focus remains on securing and maximising revenue opportunities in our core newspaper and magazine distribution business, whilst exploring growth initiatives in adjacent areas that leverage on our existing capabilities and market presence," said Chief Executive Jonathan Bunting.

Shares in Smiths News rose 3.2% to 48.61 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.

By Sabrina Penty, Alliance News reporter

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