September 6, 2019 / 7:09 AM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 1-Smiths News signs five-year distribution deal with The Telegraph

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Sept 6 (Reuters) - British newspaper distributor Connect Group Plc said on Friday its Smiths News network secured a five-year contract with annual revenue of more than 100 million pounds ($123.37 million) to distribute The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.

The agreement will account for about 15% of Smiths News’ newspaper sales and run from October to September 2024, the company said.

The contract includes all of the existing distribution territories with The Telegraph and helps Smiths News secure 80% of its total newspaper and magazine revenues under new long-term contracts until at least 2024, the distribution and logistics provider said.

The new contract comes after the company last month said that a sale of some properties of its freight business Tuffnells is unlikely to be completed before the end of the year, stalling its debt reduction plans.

The company, which has also warned that overall performance since May had been slightly below market expectations, was expected to raise up to 35 million pounds through a potential sale and leaseback of up to 16 free-hold and long-lease Tuffnells properties.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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