Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: WH Smith hails ‘resilient’ profitability despite fall in sales

13:28 23 January 2013

WH Smith to reported a 5% fall in like-for-like sales but said it had protected its margins and profitability

WH Smith to reported a 5% fall in like-for-like sales but said it had protected its margins and profitability

WH SMITH hailed its resilience today as departing chief executive Kate Swann continued the retail chain’s focus on profitability over sales.

Like-for-like revenues fell 5% in the 20 weeks to January 20 but, with close management of margins and costs, the company said it had still delivered a “good” profits performance.

The company, which has 618 high street stores and 619 travel outlets at airports, railway stations and motorway services, posted annual profits of £102million last October and that figure is expected to rise to £106m for the current financial year.

The performance compares with a loss of £135m in 2004, prior to Ms Swann’s appointment.

Ms Swann has shifted the company’s focus away from lower-margin CDs and DVDs towards books and stationery, as well as reducing its dependence on the Christmas season and the need for heavy discounting.

However Ms Swann disappointed investors in October by announcing plans to leave the group. She will hand over the reins to Steve Clarke, who is currently managing director of the high street division.

Ms Swann said she expected trading conditions to remain challenging but that the company’s resilience and profits record meant she was confident of further growth.

Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert said: “We believe there is still plenty of growth to go for, particularly in travel and internationally, and the high street business market position is probably strengthening given recent administrations as there become fewer places to shop on the high street.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

0 comments

Concrete manufacturer Poundfield Products plans to expand after clinching £1m in funding.

A precast concrete firm has cemented a £1m investment deal to boost its manufacturing operation.

Grain handling at the Port of Ipswich.

The 2015 Port Freight statistics released by the Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday (Thursday, September 22) show that ABP’s Port of Ipswich is once again the UK’s leading export port for agricultural products.

Sports Direct of Dave Forsey, who has resigned as chief executive of Sports Direct with Mike Ashley replacing him, the retailer said.

Longstanding Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey has resigned from the retailer, with Mike Ashley replacing him.

iMarketing  team members Samantha Porter, HR manager, Rachel Manning, director, Ron Clint, technical director, Judy Geater, SEO executive, and Amanda Cresswell, office manager celebrate the firm's milestone.

‘Oldest’ SEO firm celebrates a milestone

hobbycraft new store opening at Bristol Imperial Park , A hobbycraft store is due to open at Martlesham early in October.

More than 263 applications for 20 jobs at new store

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24