Bertram Books owner hit by slow investment return

18:14 23 April 2014

Bertram Books in Thorpe St Andrew

Bertram Books in Thorpe St Andrew


The owner of EDP Top100 company Bertram Books said a slower than expected return on investment had impacted the profit of its books business.

Connect Group – the new name for Smiths News which owns the Norwich-based company – said pressures on margins had also hit the division’s performance, although its online bookselling arm Wordery continued to mount strong sales growth and counted for 11pc of total book sales.

It comes as the newspaper side of the business secured over £1.1bn of total annualised revenues through to 2019 and beyond, while newspaper sales were up 0.9pc thanks to new business winds, cover price inflation and strong promotions.

Connect Group saw underlying revenues fall 0.3pc in the six months to February 28 2014, from £901.7m last year to £898.7m this year. Meanwhile, underlying pre-tax profits grew 3pc over the same period to £24m.

Mark Cashmore, group chief executive, said: “The group continues to make good strategic progress despite a challenging start to the year in our Books division. Our News and Media and Education & Care divisions, which represent 91pc of Group profits, are performing strongly, with 77pc of our News revenue now secured to 2019 or beyond.

“We remain focused on growing profits, generating significant levels of free cash and delivering on our ongoing diversification strategy, which targets the group generating 50pc of profits outside of newspaper and magazine wholesaling by 2016.”

•Do you have a business story for the Eastern Daily Press? Contact business writer Ben Woods on or email


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now


Show Job Lists


Employers in East Anglia are paying staff more and looking at benefits packages in a bid to attract and retain staff.
Photo credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

If you excel at your job then now might be the time to speak to your boss about a pay rise or equally look for an upgrade in your benefits package.

                                 Managing Director of Bakers and Larners of Holt, Michael Baker, pictured at the Holt department store.


Family businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, but can often be weighed down by tradition. Now a report seeks to champion the region’s oldest family firms. Business writer SABAH MEDDINGS reports.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Mustard TV

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Shaun Lowthorpe

Business Publishing Editor


Sabah Meddings

Business Writer


Kate Royall

Business Writer


Duncan Abel

Business Development Manager

Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up