- Newspaper and magazine distributor Connect Group said it had seen newspaper and magazine sales steady after the government lifted lockdown restrictions, permitting retail store outlets to reopen.

'We have seen a marked increase in retail store outlets re-opening,' the company said. Less than 5% of its customers' stores, predominantly travel and leisure locations, remained closed.

As a result, newspaper sales in the 15 week period to 4 July 2020 had been 12% lower than the equivalent period pre-lockdown. Magazine sales had similarly recovered, albeit more gradually, due in part to the continuing closure until mid-June 2020 of the majority of its largest magazine retailer's stores.

Magazine sales in the same 15 week period to 4 July 2020 consequently were 18% lower to the equivalent period pre lockdown. But the company said it expected continued improvement in magazine sales during July and August 2020 as retailers re-stock to current content and copy.

Sales at Smiths News for the period 1 September 2019 to 4 July 2020, fell 8.4% to £927m.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects full-year adjusted earnings (EBITDA) of between £35m to £37.5m and adjusted pre-tax profit of between £26m and £28m for fiscal 2002.

At 8:58am: [LON:CNCT] Connect Group PLC share price was +1.13p at 18.68p

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