LONDON, April 10 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
($1 = 0.5971 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sarah Young)