WHSmith profits rise, but High Street sales dip in half-year results

Pre-tax profit grew to £73million in its half-year results, however total sales fell to £611million in the six months to February 28th.
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WHSmith has seen a four per cent increase in pre-tax profit in its half year, but has revealed that high street sales have continued to drop.

Pre-tax profit grew to £73million in its half-year results, however total sales fell to £611million in the six months to February 28th.

The result denotes a fall from £613m in the previous year while like for like sales dipped by two per cent.

The group has said it has made “good progress” in its trial of franchising to local newsagents under its WHSmith Local brand, with 22 stores now operating under the name.

Despite the slump on the High Street, WHSmith’s travel division has seen growth of seven per cent to £32million, with like for like sales rising three per cent.

WHSmith chief executive, Stephen Clarke, said: “The group has delivered another strong performance. We are seeing improving trends across all formats in travel and in the high street our profit focused strategy continued to deliver over the key Christmas trading period.”

Clarke has said that looking forward, the group will continue to focus on profitable growth and cash generation through further investments in the both travel and the high street.

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