UPDATE 1-UK retailer WH Smith to make year forecasts
LONDON Aug 22 (Reuters) - British books and stationery retailer WH Smith said on Thursday it would meet full year forecasts as its strategy to improve profit margins and cost savings continued to pay off.
In a trading update ahead of the publication of the firm's year to Aug. 31 results in October it said its travel division - outlets at airports, railway stations, motorway service stations, hospitals and work places - had continued its good performance and was making further progress in winning new business both in Britain and overseas.
WH Smith said its high street business continued to deliver a solid performance despite a strong publishing schedule in the second half of the previous year which made comparatives tougher.
Analysts are forecasting a pretax profit of about 107 million pounds ($168 million) for the 2012-13 year.
Steve Clarke took over from Kate Swann as chief executive on July 1. He was previously in charge of the high street division.
Clarke has continued Swann's strategy of offsetting the impact of a tough consumer environment and falling underlying sales with improved gross margins through better buying and a mix of more profitable products as well as cost cutting.
Shares in WH Smith, up 42 percent over the last year, closed Wednesday at 815 pence, valuing the business at 1 billion pounds.
- Housing, jobs data weaken, but overall economic picture still upbeat
- Target holiday cyber breach hits 40 million payment cards |
- UPDATE 3-Saab wins Brazil jet deal after NSA spying sours Boeing bid
- Zuckerberg to sell Facebook shares worth about $2.3 billion |
- Special Report: Why Ukraine spurned the EU and embraced Russia