WH Smith profits boosted by stationery sales

WH Smith has reported a 5% year-on-year increase in profits at its high street stores for the 12 months ended 31 August, helped by strong stationery sales.

WH Smith chief executive Stephen Clarke said sales were boosted by the success of the Zoella Book Club – launched by millionaire vlogger Zoe Sugg in June.

The firm’s overall profits were up by 8% to £131-million.

“We have delivered a good performance across the group, with earnings up 10%,” Clarke said in a statement.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in new opportunities.

“While the economic environment is uncertain, we are well positioned for the current year and beyond.”

WH Smith announced an 11% increase in ordinary dividends to 43.9p per share and added that it would buy back £50-million worth of its shares.

“The proposed increase in final dividend reflects the board’s confidence in the future prospects of the group, the strong cash generative nature of the business, and our progressive dividend policy,” the firm said.

Total group sales increased by 3% to £1,21-billion during the 12-month period.

By Karthick Arvinth for www.ibtimes.co.uk
Image: www.ibtimes.co.uk

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