WH Smith raises dividend after profits boost

WH Smith has raised its dividend after a jump in first-half profits.

The newspaper, books and stationery retailer reported a pre-tax profit of £62m for the
six months to 28 February.

It hiked its dividend by 13 per cent to 6.1p.

The company which has shops on in stations airports and hospitals as well as on the high street
has cut costs on the past year as consumer spending slumped.

Chief executive Kate Swann said in a statement: "We have delivered a good performance. Both businesses have made further progress with the delivery of their distinct strategies.

"The Interim dividend is up 13 per cent, demonstrating the Board's confidence in the future prospects of the Group and its continued cash generative nature.

"Looking forward, we remain cautious about consumer spending and our plans reflect this. We are confident in the outcome for the full year."

Shares in WH Smith have gained 25 per cent over the past 12 months.