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WH Smith Plc H1 Pretax Profit Declines; LFL Revenue Up 1% - Quick Facts

WH Smith plc (SMWH.L) reported statutory profit before tax of 65 million pounds for the six months ended 28 February 2019 including non-underlying items relating to the acquisition of InMotion and the completed review in High Street, compared to 82 million pounds, previous year. Earnings per share was 46.8 pence compared to 60.9 pence. Headline profit before tax was 81 million pounds compared to 82 million pounds, prior year. Headline earnings per share was 60.6 pence, for the six months ended 28 February 2019.

First-half total Group revenue was up 8% compared to last year at 695 million pounds, with Group LFL revenue up 1%. Travel total revenue was up 18% (up 8% excluding InMotion) and up 3% on a like-for-like basis, for the period.

Stephen Clarke, Group Chief Executive, said: "The Group has delivered a strong performance in the first half of the financial year. In Travel, we continue to see strong sales growth, up 18%, driven by our ongoing investment and initiatives in our UK business and our growing international businesses. As a result, profit in Travel was up 7% in the period. The integration of InMotion is progressing well. While there is uncertainty in the broader economic and political environment, we have made a good start to the second half of the financial year."

The Board has declared an interim dividend of 17.2 pence per share, an 8% increase on last year. The Group said the increase in the interim dividend reflects the Board's confidence in the future prospects of the Group, the strong cash generative nature of the business, and the positive outlook for the full year.

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