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WH Smith Plc

WH Smith Plc delivered a good performance

WH Smith Plc (LON:SMWH) announced preliminary results for the year ended 31 August 2018.

Group Financial Summary

12 months to

%

Aug 2018

Aug 2017

Change

 

Travel trading profit*

£103m

£96m

   7%

High Street trading profit*

£60m

£62m

   (3)%

Group profit from trading operations*

£163m

£158m

   3%

Headline Group profit before tax*

£145m

£140m

   4%

Headline earnings per share*

108.2p

103.6p

   4%

Group profit before tax

£134m

£140m

   (4)%

Diluted earnings per share

98.2p

103.6p

   (5)%

Dividend per share

54.1p

48.2p

   12%

Revenue performance

Total

LFL*

Travel revenue

8%

3%

High Street revenue

(3)%

(3)%

Group revenue

2%

-%

 

 Stephen Clarke, WH Smith Chief Executive, commented:

“We have delivered a good performance across the Group.

“Travel accounts for over half our sales and two thirds of our profits and continues to perform strongly with revenue growth of 8% in the year. This performance has been driven by our ongoing investment in stores and growth in passenger numbers. Profit in Travel is up 7% to £103m.

“We have a fast growing international business with 286 units open across 27 countries and 50 airports. We are pleased to have won 42 new units this year including some significant tenders in South America and Europe.

“We had a good year in High Street despite the well documented challenges of the UK high street. During an encouraging second half, the business traded well and we quickly identified the latest trend in the market, becoming a one-stop-shop for all slime related products. Despite this good performance, we are not ignoring the broader challenges on the UK high street and, during the second half, we conducted a business review to ensure our High Street business is fit for purpose now and for the future.

“The Board has proposed a 13% increase in the final dividend and we have today announced a further share buyback of up to £50m reflecting the Group’s cash generation and our confidence in the future prospects of the Group.

“This good performance is only possible through the hard work of all of our colleagues across the business and I am sincerely grateful for their ongoing support.

“While there is some uncertainty in the economic environment, we are pleased with the start to the new year in both businesses, and will continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and new opportunities to profitably invest for the future. We are well positioned for the current year and beyond.”