WH Smith has reported a good profit performance for the year ending August 31st 2010, with its Travel operations putting in a strong showing and its strategy to build its stationery market position showing early promise.
Total group profit before tax was £89 million (2009: £81 million). The Travel sector put in a record profit performance, up ten per cent to £53 million (2009: £48 million), while High Street operating profit rose four per cent to £51 million (2009: £49 million).
"We are a resilient business with a strong and consistent record of both profit growth and cash generation and are well positioned for continued growth in the future," commented Kate Swann, group chief executive.
Some of this growth is likely to come from WHS' plans to further extend its share in the stationery sector.
Like for like sales were up slightly (one per cent), while gross margin was also up. A strong share performance in both general and seasonal stationery was driven in part by additional space given to general stationery items.
WHS is continuing to develop new ranges within stationery, launching educational toys during the year to enhance its children's offer. It has also relaunched its online personalised greetings card offer through the Funky Pigeon brand.