Sales slide puts a dentin 'resilient' WHSmith
Friday 12 November 2010
WHSmith, the book and stationery retailer, touted a "resilient" performance since September, but underlying sales fell at both its travel and high street divisions.
However, the group said its trading was in line with market expectations. The company's high street stores suffered a 4 per cent fall in underlying sales from 1 September to 6 November, but its travel stores on the motorway, railway stations and at airports posted like-for-like sales down only by 1 per cent.
The company said: "We remaina resilient business and are well-positioned for continued growth in the future." WHSmith has overhauled its product offer over the past few years by ditching low-margin entertainment products, such as CDs and DVDs, to focus on higher-margin items, notably books and stationery.
WHSmith said: "We continue to focus on delivering our strategy to rebalance the mix of our business towards our core categories."
The retail group reaffirmed its commitment to return up to £50m of cash to shareholders through its share buyback programme. To date, the group has purchased about 1.2 million shares at an average price of 481.33p.
Nick Bubb, an analyst at Arden Partners, describe the performance of the retailer as a "a tad disappointing" but said: "WHSmith is expert at engineering higher gross margins and lower costs out of the business mix and we are happy with our full-year £94m [profit forecast] at this stage, with the key Christmas spending and summer travel periods to come."
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked 4Chan photos
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...