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Smiths News Plc (CNCT)

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Monday 17 March, 2014

Smiths News Plc

Smiths News PLC to change name to Connect Grp PLC

RNS Number : 4301C
Smiths News PLC
17 March 2014

Smiths News PLC

('Smiths News' or "the Group")




Smiths News PLC is pleased to announce that in line with its strategy, to become a more broadly diversified specialist distribution business, it intends to rename as Connect Group PLC.


Since becoming an independent company in September 2006, the Group has made substantial progress transforming from a pure newspaper and magazine distributor to a larger and more diversified business. The change in name both reflects our progress to date and ambition for the future, to succeed by connecting suppliers and customers in an efficient, knowledgeable and service oriented way. Connect Group's strategic ambition remains to deliver 50% of operating profit from outside of newspaper and magazine wholesaling by 2016.


Companies within the Group will not change their name or identity, although going forward, will be presented within the Group under three distinct divisions;


- Connect News and Media: encompassing the UK's largest news wholesaling business and the international media direct business; Smiths News and Dawson Media Direct


- Connect Books: combining a number of globally recognised book brands in print and digital markets; Bertrams, Dawson Books, Wordery and other acquired brands


- Connect Education and Care: including the leading independent supplier of consumable products in the education market; The Consortium and West Mercia Supplies


The name change will take effect from Tuesday 22 April 2014 and on the following day the Group's London Stock Exchange Tradable Instrument Display Mnemonic ("TIDM") will change from NWS to CNCT. Connect Group PLC shares will continue to be traded on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.


Shareholdings are unaffected by the name change, and existing share certificates should be retained, as they will remain valid for all purposes. Any new share certificates issued after 22 April 2014 will bear the name Connect Group PLC.


Connect Group PLC will announce its half year results for the six months ended 28 February 2014 on Wednesday 23 April 2014. The results, along with all company information, will be available on the Group's new web site on the same date.


Mark Cashmore, Group Chief Executive, commented:


"Our new name and company identity is a landmark change for the Group. Since 2006 we have made substantial progress in growing market share and successfully diversifying in to new sectors and markets. This change will allow us to retain our existing brands and their customer relationships whilst providing a clear and unifying structure to the organisation as we continue to enhance shareholder value."




Smiths News PLC

Mark Cashmore, Group Chief Executive

Tel: 01793 563641

Nick Gresham, Chief Financial Officer


Jeremy Garcia / Gabriella Clinkard

Tel: 020 7466 5000


About Smiths News PLC:


Smiths News PLC comprises Smiths News, the UK's leading wholesaler of newspapers and magazines, Bertram Books, a leading UK book wholesaler and The Consortium, a leading independent distributor of consumable products to the education and care markets.


Smiths News distributes newspapers and magazines on behalf of all the major national publishers as well as a large number of regional publishers. The business serves approximately 30,000 customers across England and Wales, supplying large general retailers as well as smaller independent newsagents. Smiths News has an approximate 55% share of the newspaper and magazine wholesaling market in the UK. In addition to its distribution activities, Smiths News collects and processes returns, supplies sales information to publishers and provides a range of services for its retail customers.


Bertram Books supplies books to a mix of independent booksellers, on-line and multiple retailers, and libraries. Bertrams is a leading supplier of consumer and academic books in the UK and a growing player in international, digital and direct to consumer markets.


The Consortium supplies consumable products to approximately 30,000 customers across the education and care markets. The Consortium is a leading UK distributor with an approximate 5% share in a growing and fragmented market.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange