WH Smith 'in line' for 2017/18

News - Bookselling Thursday, 30 August 2018

Shares rise following retailer's trading statement

Shares in WH Smith rose 18 pence (1%) this morning after the retailer said that it expected its results for the year ending 31 August to be "in line with expectations". WHS is entering its close period, and will report its preliminary results on 11 October.

As has been the case for some time, WHS Travel has performed well, while the High Street business has been flat. The retailer opened eight stores in Madrid Terminal 4 in mid-August, as well as the first of six stores in Rio de Janeiro. It has 286 stores open internationally, "and we continue to see further opportunities in the international news, books and convenience travel market".

WHS' strategy for its High Street business is to cut costs to maintain margins while sales are flat. The performance of the division was "in line with expectations... We continue to invest in our new store format trials and have developed further our stationery ranges."

WHS shares this morning were at 2,072p. Their high point in the past 12 months was 2,347p on 29 January, in anticipation of Christmas traditing figures.

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