Stationer WH Smith confident as it raises dividend

LONDON, April 10 Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:18am EDT

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - British books, newspaper and stationery retailer WH Smith raised its first-half payout to shareholders on Thursday, reflecting its confidence as it posted first half profits up 3 percent.

The firm, which has over 1,200 stores, primarily in the UK, on Thursday said headline pretax profit for the six months to was 70 million pounds ($117 million), up from 68 million pounds posted a year ago.

It said it would pay a dividend of 10.8 pence, up 15 percent on the prior year. "The increase in interim dividend reflects the Board's confidence in the future prospects of the group," it said. ($1 = 0.5971 British Pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sarah Young)

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