Good Christmas trading for Bertrams, says Smiths News

<p>Bertrams had &quot;good trading&quot; over the Christmas period, according to an interim management statement from parent company Smiths News.</p><p>For the 19 weeks from 19th September to 9th January, Smiths News sales increased by 52.1%, which included the acquisition of Bertrams in March 2009. On a like for like basis, sales fell by 2.1%, which Smiths News said &quot;compares favourably with the trends experienced in the preceding<br />year and indicates an underlying improvement in the market, particularly in magazines&quot;.</p><p>The statement did not strip out individual sales performance for Bertrams, but said: &quot;Bertrams has made excellent progress under the Group&#39;s ownership and reported good trading over the Christmas period together with strong sales to overseas customers.&quot;</p><p>At its annual general meeting this morning, Smiths News c.e.o. Mark Cashmore will say: &quot;Whilst economic conditions in the UK remain challenging, the group continues to make significant progress across a number of key business objectives. As a result, the board remains confident about current trading prospects and expects a year of growth.&quot;</p>