News International extends distribution contracts

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News International has extended its contracts with Smiths News and Menzies Distribution until 2019 in deals worth £200m and £158m a year respectively.

The contract with Smiths includes an additional £40m of business and takes its value to some £200m a year. It covers distribution of “The Times”, “The Sunday Times” and “The Sun” titles for the period from 2014 to 2019.

The additional work involves regional Direct to Retail business, increasing Smiths News’ share of the NI wholesale business to about 49 per cent, with only the Greater London region remaining a NI DTR operation.

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Chief executive Mark Cashmore said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with News International, which further endorses our business model and reinforces our market leading position. Today’s announcement underlines the strength of our wholesale proposition and we believe News International’s decision to transfer a significant part of their DTR operations across to Smiths News demonstrates the importance of our track record, continued investment and service excellence.”

News International also renegotiated its contract with Menzies Distribution extending the relationship to 2019 in a deal worth £158m a year.

The new agreement will see Menzies expand its activities to include distribution of titles in Kent and Lancashire from 1 October 2012 and in Northern Ireland from 1 September 2013.

David McIntosh, managing director of Menzies Distribution, said: “I am very pleased that we have concluded negotiations with News International and that we will be expanding our relationship into new territories. This is a very significant contract renewal for the business and allows us to plan positively for the future.”

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