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Smiths 5-Month Sales Up 6%

British newspaper distribution firm Smiths News said on Wednesday current trading was in line with its expectations, with total sales in its first five months up 6%.

Smiths News said in a statement it expected "current trading conditions to continue for the remainder of the year and is managing the business on that basis. The company is positioned to deliver a performance in line with expectations".

Spun off from WH Smith in September, Smiths News distributes newspapers and magazines to 22,000 shops in England and Wales each day.

The 6% gain was driven mainly by contracts won with magazine distributor Frontline last April and Northcliffe and Johnson Press in September, the company said, adding underlying sales were flat year-on-year.

"As expected, the magazine market has been more demanding, with declining volumes in monthly magazines and reduced Partwork launches more than offsetting growth in weekly magazines," it said.

When posting an 0.9% rise in annual profit on Oct. 12, Smiths News said the market for weekly lifestyle magazines such as "Nuts" and "Zoo" and celebrity gossip titles like "Now" and "Closer" was very strong.

Its shares, which have underperformed the support services sector by 16% since being listed on Sept. 1, closed at 144.75 pence on Tuesday to value the business at 265 million pounds ($519 million).