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Kerrie Colford

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17 March 2014

Smiths News PLC to change name to Connect Group PLC

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."

To download the full press release click here