WH Smith profits on track to meet City hopes

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Newsagent and books retailer WH Smith today told investors that it is confident its annual results will live up to City forecasts.

The group said its travel business, which has outlets in airports and train stations around the world, has turned in a “good performance” and expects to continue with its expansion plans.

Its high street division, which saw like-for-like sales fall 4 per cent in the third quarter, continues to keep a tight rein on costs in a bid to improve gross margins.

Both businesses remain “highly cash generative” said WH Smith, which reports its annual results on 16 October.

City analysts are forecasting pre-tax profits of about £113 million and the retailer said it “expects the outcome for the year to 31 August to be in line with market expectations”.