WH Smith announces trial for standalone greeting cards stores as profits climbs

Guy Bentley
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WH Smith has achieved a pre-tax profit of £112m for the year ended 31 August, up nine per cent from the previous year.

The FTSE 250 company which boasts 1,300 stores nation-wide also saw a total ordinary dividend per share of 35p, a 14 per cent increase on the previous year.

Stephen Clarke, group chief executive, welcomed the results:

We had another record year in Travel, with profits up 11 per cent to £73m, driven by an increase in total sales of four per cent and continued improvement in like-for-like sales, which were up one per cent in the second half.

In our High Street business profits increased by four per cent to £58m, demonstrating the continued success of our profit-focused strategy.

The Group is highly cash generative and, as a result, we have announced today a further share buyback of up to £50m and a 14 per cent increase in the full year dividend.

Furthermore, WH Smith's announced it will soon be trialling standalone greeting cards at stores, branded Cardmarket.

The retailer announced a £50m share buyback following record profits from its travel division. While the news was mostly positive, the company did suffer a fall in like-for-like sales of three per cent.

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