WHSmith grows profits

Retailer looks to refocus on core categories.
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WHSmith has increased its half-yearly profits by eight per cent, beating expectations.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to February rose to £64 million from £59 million on total sales, which increased by two per cent to £734 million, but were down two per cent on a like-for-like basis.

High street sales were down two per cent at £556 million and down three per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The retailer said it would continue its strategy to rebalance its business mix towards its core categories, which may see an increase in toys, while reducing its reliance on entertainment such as CDs and DVDs.

“The economic environment remains uncertain and, whilst we continue to be cautious, we are confident in the outcome for the full year,” the firm said.

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