Belfast Telegraph

Train shops drive WH Smith to lift its outlook

By Roger Baird

Retailer WH Smith upped its outlook for full-year profits after strong trading at its travel stores.

The magazines and stationery business said its 740 airport and train station shops turned in a strong second-half performance, reflecting growing passenger numbers.

The firm, led by chief executive Stephen Clarke, added that full-year profits for the year to August 31 would be "slightly ahead" of market expectations as a result of the robust trading.

It said sales at its 621 high-street stores were also slightly ahead, driven by a favourable book publishing programme. Booksellers are enjoying a recent rise in sales with the releases of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee and Grey, the latest 50 Shades of Grey book, by EL James.

The group added that its new store opening programme in the UK and aboard was on track and said it would continue to deliver gross profit margin improvements and planned cost savings at its high street stores.

WH Smith also runs 129 international units in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and more.

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