Volcano clouds Smith’s results
WH SMITH rolled out disappointing third-quarter figures yesterday, blaming Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud.
Analysts called the results ‘uninspiring’ after the retailer posted a 4pc fall in like-for-like sales in the 14 weeks to June 5. Sales at its travel division, based at airports and rail stations, were the main drag on performance. WH Smith shares, down 14pc over the past month, shed a further 19pc, closing at 434.6p. Yet not all is gloomy. Analyst consensus tips WH Smith to post profit of £88m in the full year to August, up from £82m last year.
Jonathan Pritchard at Oriel Securities sees a company opening outlets in cities such as Copenhagen and Delhi as an ‘absolute gem’ that is ‘undervalued and chucking off cash’.