WH Smith profits jump 15%

WH Smith has reported a 15% rise in profits to 76m, despite falling sales in its high street retail stores. The retailer reported its results for the full year ended August 31 today (October 9).

WH Smith has reported a 15% rise in profits to £76m, despite falling sales in its high street retail stores. The retailer reported its results for the full year ended August 31 today (October 9).

Total sales rose by 4% to £1.35bn over the period, although sales on a like-for-like basis were down by 2%.

Like-for-like sales fell by 3% in WH Smith’s high street retail arm but were up 1% in its travel business, which includes shops at airports, motorway service stations and train stations. Total sales in its travel units were up by 22%, due to acquisitions throughout the year.

The retailer says it expects a “competitive Christmas trading season”. It plans to boost business by opening six more standalone book shops at airports, taking its total to 15.

WH Smith also says it has met cost cutting targets and has saved £8m over the year, with another £10m due to be trimmed.

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