WH Smith is on track to meet forecasts as it keeps lid on costs

 
Kasmira Jefford
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BOOKS and stationery chain WH Smith said yesterday it was on track to meet full-year forecasts as its strategy to improve margins and cost savings continued to pay off.

In a pre-close trading update, the retailer said its travel business, which includes outlets in railway stations and airports, had continued its good performance and was making further progress in winning new business both in Britain and overseas.

Steve Clarke took over as chief executive last month after five years as head of WH Smith’s high street operations, replacing the company’s long-standing boss Kate Swann.

He said its high street business has continued to deliver “a solid performance” thanks to keeping a tight hold on costs.

Analysts are expecting the retailer, which runs 1,200 stores, to announce pre-tax profits of about £107m when it reports in October.