THE UK’s leading newspaper distributor told investors that the “unprecedented” closure of the News of the World would not damage its business.

Smiths News has a 55% market share of the UK newspaper and wholesaling magazine market and acts as a distributor for major newspaper groups, including News International which took the shock decision to shut the Sunday newspaper.

Smiths said customers switching to other newspaper titles will soften the blow while its “flexible cost base” will result in minimal financial impact.

The company, which runs 59 distribution centres across England and Wales and employs about 5,300 staff, said it remained confident of growth in pre-tax profits for the full year ending August 31 in line with market consensus.