Smiths News van

News International (NI) says it is extending its newspaper distribution contract with own-account operator Smiths News, a deal that is worth over £40m a year.

The agreement will see Smiths news distributing copies of the Times, Sunday Times and the Sun until 2019, increasing the group’s market share of NI’s wholesale business to just under half.

Smiths News CEO Mark Cashmore says: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with NI, which further endorses our business model and reinforces our market leading position.”

The new contract will also see NI hand over its regional direct-to-retail (DTR) division to the group, apart from its Greater London region, which will continue to be run by NI.

“We believe NI'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,” Cashmore says.

Smiths News holds over half the newspaper and magazine wholesaling market share across the UK, delivering to over 30,000 retailers across England and Wales.