WH Smith full year profits up by 9%

WH Smith has reported “strong performance”, with a 9 percent increase in full-year profit.

The UK’s leading books, newspaper and stationery chain posted pretax profit for the year to end-August of £112 million, up from £103 million a year ago – ahead of market forecasts.

The company also announced “up to £50 million” share buy back as the business was “highly cash generative”.

Chief executive Stephen Clarke said in a statement on Thursday:

“Looking ahead, our focus will remain on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in new opportunities that position us well for the future,”

He added:

“The Group has delivered a strong performance with EPS [earnings per share] up 18% year on year.”

WH Smith’s travel division – with outlets at airports, railways stations, motorway services, and hospitals – posted “record” sales, with profits up by 11% to £73m.

WH Smith increased its full-year total dividend by 14% to 35p.

It also aims to reduce costs over the next few years by £21m.