WH Smith looks abroad for travel expansion

WH Smith is stepping up the expansion of its travel shops overseas to places as far flung as Fiji after the division helped to raise its half-year profits and dividend.

Alongside a 3 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £66m, the stationery and book retailer yesterday reported it had signed for a further 20 travel units abroad, including its first store on the South Pacific island and eight more in India, giving it 80 overseas.

The company's travel arm increased its operating profit 8 per cent to £27m over the six months to 29 February, but the high street business was flat at £47m.