WH Smith is a household name
WH Smith has reported flat annual profits, but a strong performance by shops in airports and railway stations.
Helped by cost cuts, its pre-tax, post-exceptional profits totalled £76m for the year to 31 August, the same figure as a year earlier.
Like-for-like sales, excluding new store openings, were down 2%, although total sales were up 4%.
WH Smith said it was now planning for a "competitive" Christmas trading period as consumer spending continues to slow.
While like-for-like sales at WH Smith's High Street stores fell 3% during the last year, they rose 1% at its travel business, which comprises its outlets at railway stations, airports and motorway service stops.
Overall, sales at the travel unit were up 22% due to acquisitions during the year.
Total sales across the group, including new store openings, were up 4% to £1.35bn from £1.30bn a year earlier.
Across the year, WH Smith said it achieved cost savings of £8m and also managed to increase product profit margins.
WH Smith chief executive Kate Swann said the firm had "delivered another year of good profit performance".
On a pre-exceptional basis, WH Smith's pre-tax profit rose 15% to £76m from £66m a year earlier.
Shares in the firm were up 7.6% in lunchtime trading in London.