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Interim Results

WH Smith lifts H1 pretax profit, interim dividend

12 April 2017 07:30

WH Smith has lifted its H1 pretax profit, revenue and interim dividend in what it described as a good performance.

"Looking ahead, 2017 is a significant year for us as we celebrate 225 years since the business was founded," said CEO Stephen Clarke.

"While there is some uncertainty in the broader economic environment, we will continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business which positions us well in the current year and into the future."

Pretax profit was £83m, from £80m, while revenue was £643m, from £633m. Interim dividend was boosted to 14.6p a share, from 13.4p.

In Travel, WH Smith continued to see strong sales growth, with like-for-likes up 5%, driven by continued investment in its UK and international businesses and growth in passenger numbers. Profit in Travel was up 11% in the half.

In the company's growing international business, it had now won 255 stores including 10 stores in Singapore after a significant tender win in Changi Airport, a key hub in Asia.

WH Smith said that in High Street, profit was in line with expectations, matching a very strong performance from last year.

"Stationery performed particularly well over the Christmas period driven by strong sales from our new seasonal product ranges and Books benefitted from good sales of spoof humour titles."

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