Revenue up at Thorpe St Andrew-based Bertram Books following acquisitions

The owner of Bertram Books said yesterday it remained on track to deliver a strong growth in profits at its year end in August.

In an interim management statement Smiths News said total group revenues for the 44 weeks to July 7 increased 3.3pc year on year, boosted by contributions from the academic library supply business Dawson which was acquired by Thorpe St Andrew-based Bertram in August last year.

Revenues were also boosted by its education business, The Consortium, in April.

In the statement Smiths News said its Bertram Books business saw a 32.5pc revenue increase which included Dawson Books, and by 4.3pc on a like-for-like basis.

Both Bertram's UK wholesale and international businesses are trading marginally above last year, with its library services continuing to trade well above last year.

The company said that the group remained on track to deliver a strong growth in profits for the year ended August 31, 2012 and as a result it expected underlying profit before tax to be at the top end of market range.

Overall Smiths News – which is the largest UK newspaper and magazine wholesaler – saw its revenues decline by 2.6pc and by 4.1pc on a like-for-like basis.

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It said cover-price increases continue to support newspaper performance largely offsetting volume declines with magazine performance in line with expectation.

Graeme Underhill, managing director at Bertrams Books, said the acquisition of Dawson Books and, more recently, Dutch academic book supplier Houtschild Internationale Boekhandel B.V had created scale for the business.

He said: 'We have been prepared to invest in this business. What we have done is to add value.

'We bought Dawson Books, which has an ebook offer which Bertrams didn't. We see ebooks as a good growth prospect for us and Dawson has got a good ebook platform.

'We do see international sales as a good growth prospect for us,' he added.

The group will announce its preliminary results for the year ending August 31 on October 16.

COMING SOON: See The Business next week for a special report on Bertrams