April 12 British books, newspaper and stationery
retailer WH Smith Plc posted a 3.75 percent rise in
first-half pretax profit as its travel business continued to
outshine lagging high street or town centre retail operations.
WH Smith, which has more than 1,300 stores mostly in the UK,
said profit before tax for the six months to Feb. 28 rose to 83
million pounds ($104 million) from 80 million last year.
Trading profit at its travel business, made up of outlets at
airports, railway stations, motorway services, hospitals and
workplaces, rose 11 percent to 39 million pounds, helped by an
improvement in passenger numbers.
The group, which will celebrate its 225th anniversary this
year, said sales fell 4 percent at its high street business,
citing tough comparatives from last year, when sales were
boosted by the "colour therapy" trend for adult colouring-in
Trading profit at its high street business remained flat at
53 million pounds.
($1 = 0.8009 pounds)
(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes)