Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom WH Smith PLC https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom WH Smith PLC RSS feed en Thu, 23 May 2019 13:54:21 +0100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190521152908_14082356/ Tue, 21 May 2019 15:29:08 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190521152908_14082356/ <![CDATA[News - WH Smith CEO Clarke to step down in October ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220656/wh-smith-ceo-clarke-to-step-down-in-october-220656.html WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH) said chief executive Stephen Clarke will step down from the tatty-carpeted retailer later this year, after 15 years at the company and six in the top job.

The FTSE 250-listed firm, which plans to replace Clarke with Carl Cowling, boss of the group’s High Street business, acompanied the news with a solid third-quarter trading update, showing total group sales rose 15% in the 11 weeks to 18 May, with like-for-like sales (LFL) up 1%.

READ: City broker “really excited” by WH Smith’s US potential

WH Smith stores, where 142 Post Office franchises were added to the 42 it had in the first half, continued with the profit-focused strategy to manage the slow decline of the UK high street, which is such that a long-running Twitter account keeps track of the often terrible state of the chain's floors and product displays.

High Street sales were down 1% over the full-year, as they were in the first half, with LFL sales declining by just 1% compared to a 2% fall in the first half of the year.

Over in the Travel arm - the group’s planes, trains and hospitals-focused growth engine - total sales were up 26%, or 7% excluding the October acquisition of US airports chain InMotion. Travel LFL sales were up 3%, as they were in the first half.

The division is on target to open around 20 units in the UK including 10 in hospital, which are due to overtake rail and become the group's second biggest channel by revenue this year, with “good potential” to grow this segment further.

The carpet account. Your go-to for favourite hob rings, opaque political comment through Lockets and photos of sh*t carpet pic.twitter.com/Bree49rKVl

— carpet (@WHS_Carpet) March 13, 2019

On the trading outlook, Clarke said the board remained confident for the full year outcome, adding: “Whilst there is some uncertainty in the broader economic and political environment, we are well placed as we approach the key summer trading period in Travel. We continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business to position us well for the future."

On the CEO’s departure, which is inked in for October, chairman Henry Staunton said Clarke had made an “outstanding contribution” and driven “exceptional shareholder value” over the last six years. The shares have risen from 750p to above 2,000p during his tenure.

Staunton said Cowling, who joined the group in 2014 after stints at Dixons and Carphone Warehouse, has been “instrumental” in the development and execution of the high street strategy.

Broker Peel Hunt said it was "a good current trading statement" from WH Smith, with High Street LFL slightly better than expected and margins in both businesses as expected, albeit that the update was "overshadowed by the departure of the highly-regarded CEO".

With a new CEO, Peel Hunt's analysts see "no reason to believe why the strengths of the company won't continue to come to the fore" and while the market will be surprised, "we would class any weakness as a major buying opportunity as the new management team takes the opportunity that Clarke created".

WH Smith shares fell by more than 2.5% in the first few minutes of trading Tuesday, but by mid morning were almost back to flat at 2,024p.

-- Adds broker comment, share price --

]]>
Tue, 21 May 2019 07:47:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/220656/wh-smith-ceo-clarke-to-step-down-in-october-220656.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Board Change ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190521070024_14080990/ Tue, 21 May 2019 07:00:24 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190521070024_14080990/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Trading Statement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190521070013_14080945/ Tue, 21 May 2019 07:00:13 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190521070013_14080945/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190520164338_14080706/ Mon, 20 May 2019 16:43:38 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190520164338_14080706/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - WH Smith PLC Purchases of Shares - Open Period ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190516175531_14077488/ Thu, 16 May 2019 17:55:31 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190516175531_14077488/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190514163154_14073836/ Tue, 14 May 2019 16:31:54 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190514163154_14073836/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190513165251_14072133/ Mon, 13 May 2019 16:52:51 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190513165251_14072133/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190513093919_14071376/ Mon, 13 May 2019 09:39:19 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190513093919_14071376/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190502090710_14060753/ Thu, 02 May 2019 09:07:10 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190502090710_14060753/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190430124631_14057528/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:46:31 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190430124631_14057528/ <![CDATA[News - WH Smith lifts interim dividend as profits drop after acquisition of InMotion ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/218397/wh-smith-lifts-interim-dividend-as-profits-drop-after-acquisition-of-inmotion-218397.html WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH) raised its interim dividend by 8% even as profits slumped on the back of the costs of buying US airport retailer InMotion.

The stationery and books retailer said statutory profit before tax fell 21% to £65mln in the six months to the end of February after acquiring InMotion’s 114 stores for £155mln late last year.

Revenue edged up 8% to £695mln as 18% growth in sales at its travel division, which includes stores at airports and rail stations, offset a 1% drop at its high street stores.  

READ: WH Smith performs as expected with travel offsetting slow high street decline

Like-for-like revenue rose 1% with travel sales up 3% and high street sales down 2%.

The company raised its dividend to 17.2p per share from 16.0p a year ago.

"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 and the increase in the interim dividend by 8% reflects the board's confidence in the outcome for the full year,” said chief executive Stephen Clarke.

InMotion integration 'progressing well'

Clarke said the high street division delivered one of its “best trading performances in recent years” due to growth in seasonal stationery ranges including Christmas cards, wrap, diaries, calendars, and art and craft ranges.

He added that the integration of InMotion is “progressing well”.

“This acquisition doubles the size of our business outside of the UK where we are now present in 99 airports and 30 countries,” he said.

“We won a further 21 units in the period, including two InMotion units in Australia and Spain, highlighting the potential of this business outside of the US.”

Following the acquisition, the group's net debt position stands at £340mln. The company expects full-year non-underlying costs relating to the InMotion acquisition of £11mln.

Peel Hunt keeps 'buy' stance, hikes target price 

Peel Hunt reiterated a 'buy' recommendation and raised its target price to 2,550p from 2,500p. 

"With InMotion starting well in WH Smith's hands and the core Travel business in rude health, there is much to like in today's interims," the broker said.

It added: " This is becoming a really compelling global growth story, something that the shares are only just beginning to reflect."

]]>
Thu, 11 Apr 2019 08:07:00 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/218397/wh-smith-lifts-interim-dividend-as-profits-drop-after-acquisition-of-inmotion-218397.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Interim Results ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190411070010_14036852/ Thu, 11 Apr 2019 07:00:10 +0100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190411070010_14036852/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190329121432_14021637/ Fri, 29 Mar 2019 12:14:32 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190329121432_14021637/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190228121455_13985583/ Thu, 28 Feb 2019 12:14:55 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190228121455_13985583/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - BOARD CHANGES ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190226070026_13981242/ Tue, 26 Feb 2019 07:00:26 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190226070026_13981242/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190225113005_13980566/ Mon, 25 Feb 2019 11:30:05 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190225113005_13980566/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190219144631_13974551/ Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:46:31 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190219144631_13974551/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190219144242_13974548/ Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:42:42 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190219144242_13974548/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190131113432_13953747/ Thu, 31 Jan 2019 11:34:32 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190131113432_13953747/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - WH Smith PLC Purchases of Shares - Open Period ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190130070004_13951080/ Wed, 30 Jan 2019 07:00:04 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190130070004_13951080/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190123142829_13944512/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 14:28:29 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190123142829_13944512/ <![CDATA[News - WH Smith performs as expected with travel offsetting slow high street decline ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/213144/wh-smith-performs-as-expected-with-travel-offsetting-slow-high-street-decline-213144.html It was very much business as usual for WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH) in a trading update on Wednesday as healthy growth in its travel arm offset a continued slow decline on the high street.

The FTSE 250 newsagent said total sales for the 20 weeks to 19 January were up 6% while like-for-like (LFL) sales were flat.

READ: City broker “really excited” by WH Smith’s US potential now InMotion is onboard

The flat LFLs were slightly below forecasts from analysts at UBS who were expecting 1% growth, however, the banks 3% growth forecast for the travel business came in on target.

Total sales for the segment were also up 16% with the firm saying it planned to open around 20 new store units this year while also continuing the roll out its new concept airport stores in Heathrow.

Smith’s added that InMotion, a US travel retailer it acquired for US$198mln in October, was progressing well with its integration and had continued its “strong sales momentum” post-purchase with good growth prospects in the US and international markets.

The update was a lot briefer for the firm’s ailing high street business, but the trajectory was a well-known story with a steady decline. LFL sales for the segment were down 2% in the period with total sales dipping 1%, although Smith’s said it was on track to deliver £9mln in planned cost savings for the year.

The 2% decline was comfortably inside estimates, with UBS predicting the slowdown last week.

Stephen Clarke, Smith’s chief executive, said the company’s travel arm had been lifted by growth in air passenger numbers in addition to its investment programme, while the high street business had delivered what he said was “a good performance” bolstered by sales of stationery, Christmas cards, wrap, diaries, and fashion stationery.

Looking ahead, Clark said while there was “existing uncertainty in the broader economic environment”, the firm was “well positioned” for the year going forward.

Broker says potential of Travel business “underestimated”

In a note to clients, analysts at broker Peel Hunt said trading had remained “decidedly solid” through the first half across the company but added that the current 15x price/earnings multiple was “too cheap” given the global potential.

“Whilst the High Street business is unlikely ever to command a high multiple (despite its stability), we think that the potential of the global expansion of the Travel business is being under-estimated. The US deal should bring the growth potential into clear view and whilst management is wisely not over-stating the opportunity, we think that, in time, it is a route to a much higher profit number and a higher multiple too.”

The broker also retained WH Smith as one of their top picks with a target price of 2,100p.

In early trading Wednesday, WH Smith shares were up 2.5% at 1,923p.

]]>
Wed, 23 Jan 2019 08:54:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/213144/wh-smith-performs-as-expected-with-travel-offsetting-slow-high-street-decline-213144.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Trading Statement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190123070003_13943330/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 07:00:03 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190123070003_13943330/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190103171422_13923412/ Thu, 03 Jan 2019 17:14:22 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190103171422_13923412/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190102175601_13921623/ Wed, 02 Jan 2019 17:56:01 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20190102175601_13921623/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181231110002_13919330/ Mon, 31 Dec 2018 11:00:02 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181231110002_13919330/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - WH SMITH PLC PURCHASE OF SHARES - CLOSED PERIOD ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181207164503_13896502/ Fri, 07 Dec 2018 16:45:03 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181207164503_13896502/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181207124626_13896157/ Fri, 07 Dec 2018 12:46:26 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181207124626_13896157/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181206172312_13894851/ Thu, 06 Dec 2018 17:23:12 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181206172312_13894851/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181205173303_13893159/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 17:33:03 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181205173303_13893159/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181204171254_13891443/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 17:12:54 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181204171254_13891443/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181203173319_13889726/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 17:33:19 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181203173319_13889726/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Acquisition ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181203171143_13889702/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 17:11:43 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181203171143_13889702/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Annual Financial Report ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181203095305_13888725/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 09:53:05 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181203095305_13888725/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181130143205_13887475/ Fri, 30 Nov 2018 14:32:05 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181130143205_13887475/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181130141910_13887429/ Fri, 30 Nov 2018 14:19:10 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181130141910_13887429/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181129171408_13885895/ Thu, 29 Nov 2018 17:14:08 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181129171408_13885895/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181128171018_13884201/ Wed, 28 Nov 2018 17:10:18 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181128171018_13884201/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181127172538_13882540/ Tue, 27 Nov 2018 17:25:38 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181127172538_13882540/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181126171845_13880868/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 17:18:45 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181126171845_13880868/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181123134041_13878896/ Fri, 23 Nov 2018 13:40:41 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181123134041_13878896/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181122171419_13877740/ Thu, 22 Nov 2018 17:14:19 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181122171419_13877740/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181121172443_13876111/ Wed, 21 Nov 2018 17:24:43 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181121172443_13876111/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181120173300_13874149/ Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:33:00 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181120173300_13874149/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181119171915_13872504/ Mon, 19 Nov 2018 17:19:15 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181119171915_13872504/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181116131350_13870417/ Fri, 16 Nov 2018 13:13:50 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181116131350_13870417/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181115173130_13869135/ Thu, 15 Nov 2018 17:31:30 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181115173130_13869135/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181114172113_13867368/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 17:21:13 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181114172113_13867368/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Transaction in Own Shares ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181113173733_13865685/ Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:37:33 +0000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3173/LSE20181113173733_13865685/