Hemscott‘s Rodney Hobson reports that WHSmith‘s very short trading update covering the year to 31 August should offer reassurance to investors. Analysts had been expecting pretax profits to top Â£60m compared with 40m pounds last time but todayâ€™s statement implies that 65m pounds could be achieved. Smith says that in the high street retail business its focus on gross margin gains and tight cost control ‘continues to deliver a solid performance’. The travel retail business, which comprises outlets at railway stations and airports, continues its strong performance and is making good progress. Accordingly, Smith PLC expects the outcome for the year â€˜to be towards the top of market expectations.
The actual figures will be issued on October 11.