WH Smith shrugs off high street woes and hands back £36m
WH Smith has again cheered investors by delivering growth in margins and an improved sales performance despite the dire trading conditions on the high street.
The stationery and book retailer also said it had returned to shareholders £36m of the £50m share buy-back unveiled last August.
The figures further cement its reliable reputation in the City under Kate Swann, WH Smith's chief executive since 2003. The group's underlying sales fell by 3 per cent in its high street and travel shops, including in airports and train stations, over the 15 weeks to 9 June.
However, this was better than the 5 per cent fall seen in its first half. Boosted by its continued exit from entertainment products as well as more efficient sourcing, WH Smith said that its high street and travel business both managed to grow their gross margins over the 15 weeks.
Total group sales slipped by 1 per cent during the period.
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Huxley Associates are looking...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Computer Futures has been est...
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Job Title: Business Analyst Rate: £300 - £350 per...