Currency in GBP
Last close As at 26/05/2023
▲ −0.60 (−1.14%)
Smiths News is the UK’s largest newspaper and magazine distributor with a c 55% market share covering 24,000 retailers in England and Wales. It has a range of long-term exclusive distribution contracts with major publishers, supplying a mix of supermarkets and independent retailers.
Volumes of newspaper and magazine sales have been falling at an average rate of c 5% pa for many years as first TV and radio and then online have taken over as the primary source of news consumptions by an increasingly younger audience. Cover price inflation has partially offset lost revenue, but Smiths News has had to, and continues to, cut costs repeatedly to make up the shortfall. These characteristics are likely to persist into the future, but Smiths is developing new revenue streams to offset these pressures.
Head of corporate and finance
Forecast net debt (£m)
Forecast gearing ratio (%)
|52 week high/low||57.6p/27.5p|
The interim H123 results highlight continued growth in adjusted operating profit, management’s solid control of the business and the ongoing annual efficiencies being delivered. Furthermore, development of new profit streams are beginning to create momentum, which we expect should offset the anticipated decline in core revenues and support the payment of the dividend. This follows the signing of numerous long-term publisher contracts recently, which collectively account for 65% of current revenues. Additional contract renewals could be secured this year. These renewals bolster the company’s cash-generative business model, providing a steady stream of revenue up to 2029 or 2030. Our valuation remains unchanged at 89p, representing c 80% upside.
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