Shares in newly-renamed Swindon-based specialist wholesale group Connect Group – formerly Smiths News – climbed by more than 4% today after it unveiled a 20% increase in half-year pre-tax profits.
The profits of £22.1m for the six months ended 28 February 2014 came despite a small fall in revenue.
Today's results came a day after it said it had inked an agreement that secures a 42% share of the UK magazine market for it until 2020.
The agreement, worth £215m a year, extends an existing magazine wholesaling contract with distributors Frontline and Seymour, and equates to 15% of the total national newspaper and magazine distribution market.
Frontline distributes titles from publishers H Bauer, Immediate Media and Haymarket, while Seymour distributes magazines on behalf of many publishers including Future and Dennis.
Smiths News has now secured revenues of around £1.1bn a year to at least 2019, and in some cases beyond, equating to 77% of total sales.
Chief executive Mark Cashmore said: “Today’s announcement extends our relationship with two of our largest magazine distributors. With 90% of magazine distribution revenues secured to 2019 and beyond, our market leading proposition is now secured for the long term.”