WH Smith has 619 stores in operation at airports, motor service areas and stations and approximately 618 of them on high street, and they are confident in its high street business after realising an increase in profits over the Christmas holidays despite a significant decline in sales.
The retail brand has embarked on plans of opening at least six more of the retail stores in the country this year since lower discount rates after Christmas, the shift towards stationery products that are more profitable and flexible acquisition terms in the Far East has offset a 5 percent dip in sales.
Some of the best Christmas sellers, led by 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver and the autobiography by Miranda Hart, played a big role in helping the company hold its book market share despite the heavy discounts in December, which caused a drop in book sales at the retail chain by a margin of 6 percent. Analysts claim that the company recovered 4 million pounds worth of savings from its stores on high street.
Kate Swann, a chief executive at WH Smith said that she was pleased with their performance in the tough environment and were fortunate to know that they had a balance sheet that was good enough and that they are able to make money which can be used to sustain the growth of their company.
She also added that the company would push through with its plans to expand abroad and that after the success of Flunky Pigeon (online card store bought 3 years ago) they were in search of more acquisitions.
City Analysts have forecast that the annual profits will rise by a mean of between 0.5 to 106 million pounds. At Swann’s previous meeting with its shareholders, prior to her departure in June, shareholders applauded her and gave her a vote of thanks for doing a good job of keeping the company afloat through a decade of rough times.
Swann said that she did not see Smith gaining much from closing chains such as: HMV, Jessops, and Blockbuster since it did not sell DVDs or CDs any more. Smith is now adding stores in new locations, some of them in small market towns.