Spoof books boost WH Smith

Spoof books boost WH Smith

WH Smith saw profits rise in the first half of the year following a rise in demand for spoof humour books.

The retailer saw group profits rise by 4% during the six months ended Feb 2016, rising to £83m from £80m the previous year.

This growth has been driven by a strong performance from its travel arm, which saw profits rise 11% from £35m to £39m.

Stephen Clarke, WH Smith’s group chief executive, said: "The group has delivered a good first half performance with earnings per share up 7%. 

"In travel, we continue to see strong sales growth, with like-for-likes up 5%, driven by continued investment in our UK and international businesses and growth in passenger numbers. 

“As a result, profit in travel was up 11% in the half.”

He added: "In high street, profit was in line with expectations, matching a very strong performance from last year.

“Stationery performed particularly well over the Christmas period driven by strong sales from our new seasonal product ranges and Books benefitted from good sales of spoof humour titles.

"These results are only possible through the hard work of our 14,000 colleagues in all parts of our business and I am very grateful for their continued support.

"Looking ahead, 2017 is a significant year for us as we celebrate 225 years since the business was founded.

“And, while there is some uncertainty in the broader economic environment, we will continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business which positions us well in the current year and into the future."