A long-established bookseller and stationer has today reported an increase in profits thanks to a rise in sales at its shops at airports, railway stations and service stations.
WH Smith which has a store in Cheltenham has announced an 11 per cent increase in profit for the travel arm of its business over the past six months, up from £35million last year to £39million, while High Street profit remains unchanged at £53million.
In its latest results, CEO Stephen Clarke said: “The Group has delivered a good first-half performance with earnings per share up seven per cent. “In Travel, we continue to see strong sales growth, with like-for-likes up five per cent, driven by continued investment in our UK and international businesses and growth in passenger numbers .”As a result, profit in Travel was up 11 per cent in the half. “In our growing international business, we have now won 255 stores, including 10 stores in Singapore following a significant tender win in Changi Airport – one of the world’s largest international airports and a key hub in Asia.
“In High Street, profit was in line with expectations, matching a very strong performance from last year.
“Stationery performed particularly well over the Christmas period driven by strong sales from our new seasonal product ranges and Books benefitted from good sales of spoof humour titles. “These results are only possible through the hard work of our 14,000 colleagues in all parts of our business and I am very grateful for their continued support. “Looking ahead, 2017 is a significant year for us as we celebrate 225 years since the business was founded. “And, while there is some uncertainty in the broader economic environment, we will continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business which positions us well in the current year and into the future.”