Contribution by The Consortium helps Smiths News deliver profits rise

October 16, 2013

The Consortium, the Trowbridge-based educational and health supplies distributor, has helped its parent company Smiths News achieve a 14% rise in full-year profits.

The Consortium, which Smiths News bought for £38m in April last year, contributed underlying operating profits of £7.4m in the year to August 31 compared with £3.6m in the previous 12 months.

Swindon-based Smiths News, the UK’s leading newspaper and magazine distributor, described these as “above-expected returns” as it unveiled its annual results.

At the time Smiths News called its acquisition of The Consortium an important strategic initiative and consistent with its stated ambition of growing profits outside its core magazine and newspaper markets while becoming a leading specialist distributor.

The Consortium, originally set up as a purchasing business by a group of local authorities and later bought by its management, supplies products from pens and pencils to major classroom and sports equipment predominantly to the £1bn education market. It also serves the care and early years nursery markets, which are estimated to be worth £160m and £55m respectively.

Smiths News acquired The Consortium, which employs 240 people, mainly in Trowbridge, from its four management shareholders.

Smiths News said the increase in group pre-tax profits, reaching £41.9m against £36.6m last time, came on a 0.4% rise in revenues to £1.81bn.

Smiths News shares climbed by 9.5% in early trading before easing back. They closed the day at 208.50p, up 7.47% or 14.5p.

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