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Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
WH Smith sells more newspapers
WH Smith shop
Customers deserted books and magazines but bought more newspapers after the attacks
Newspaper sales have risen 4% since the 11 September attacks, according to the UK news, magazine and book retailer WH Smith.


While the economic outlook is currently difficult to judge, we continue to be encouraged by the performance of our UK operations

Richard Handover
WH Smith
But the rise was far outweighed by an overall fall in sales of 24%, the retailer said.

During the first nine months of 2001, WH Smith's retail outlets in the UK generated a 13% rise in net profits to 89m.

"While the economic outlook is currently difficult to judge, we continue to be encouraged by the performance of our UK operations," said chief executive Richard Handover.

The company's 20,000 employees were awarded a 4% pay rise on 1 October.

Weak US markets

Worldwide, WH Smith's net profits fell 8% to 130m.


We are taking immediate action to improve the performance of the US travel retail business, which has been impacted by the marked slow-down in the US

Richard Handover
WH Smith

That fall was larger than expected by analysts, who had predicted earnings of 135m.

Weak earnings from the company's US arms and from its news distribution business pulled the profits lower.

Profits from its US shops slipped 17% while earnings from its distribution business fell 32%.

"We are taking immediate action to improve the performance of the US travel retail business, which has been impacted by the marked slow-down in the US,"Mr Handover said.

"We are already seeing improvements in news distribution, which has historically proved resilient in poorer economic periods."

See also:

26 Oct 00 | Business
Shops offset web losses at WH Smith
02 Mar 00 | Business
WH Smith puts newsagents online
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