Belfast Telegraph

Citigroup praise sees WH Smith shares soar

While some on the high street were suffering yesterday, one well-known name bucked the trend on the stock market.

WH Smith was being praised for its potential beyond these shores as the high street stalwart charged up the FTSE 250 mid-tier index.

The retailer, traditionally known for selling stationary and books, jumped forwards 14p to 487.8p after Citigroup reiterated its "buy" recommendation and said the company was "evolving".

Increasing WH Smith's target price to 650p from 600p, the broker claimed its international business - which started in 2008 with five stores in Copenhagen - was "an area of growth we do not believe is fully understood yet by the market".

"We believe WH Smith can open 300 international units over five years," estimated Citi, which predicted that by 2016 the business "will be a material contributor to group operating profit".

The company's earnings from stores in travel locations, such as airports, has doubled over the last five years.