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WH Smith investors are hoping for dividend boost

Less of a newsagent nowadays but could WH Smith be set to increase payouts to shareholders.

WH Smith
The retailer releases interim results on Thursday

You’ll still sometimes see WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH) referred to as a high street retailer. The books, pens and papers seller does still have a presence on many UK high streets, but this side of this business has struggled in recent years, reflecting the troubles facing many bricks-and-mortar retailers.

Instead, WHS has been relying on the travel arm of the business – the shops in airports and train stations – to balance the books.

More of the same is expected in Thursday’s half-year results, where analysts have speculated that another dividend rise could be on the cards.

The plan is to open 20 new travel stores this year, so investors will be keen to see if that target has been changed.

Elsewhere, these results will be the first for InMotion, the US airport retailer that WHS bought for £155mln at the end of 2017. Bosses might be tempted to look for growth aboard once more if this shows signs that it is settling in well.

Significant announcements due Thursday April 11:

Trading update: Man Group PLC (LON:EMG),

Interims: WH Smith PLC (LON:SMWH)

Finals: Corero Network Security PLC (LON:CNS), hVivo PLC (LON:HVO), Trackwise Designs PLC (LON:TWD)

Ex-dividends to knock 7.97 points off FTSE 100 index: Aviva PLC (LON:AV.), Barratt Developments PLC (LON:BDEV), Croda International PLC (LON:CRDA), ITV plc (LON:ITV), Mondi Plc (LON:MNDI), Paddy Power Betfair plc (LON:PPB), Rentokil Initial PLC (LON:RTO), Standard Life Aberdeen PLC (LON:SLA), Smurfit Kappa Group PLC (LON:SKG)

Economic data: UK RICS housing survey; US weekly jobless claims; US PPI

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