Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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WHSmith eyes return to profitability after stronger FY21 results

UK-based bookselling chain WHSmith has revealed its preliminary results for the financial year ending 31 August, as it eyes a return to ‘meaningful profitability’.

After posting a £69 million (A$125m) headline loss last year, the company again recorded a loss before tax and non-underlying items of £55 million (A$100.8m).

However, the retailer is showing signs of recovery, with total travel revenue improving over recent months to be at 84% of October 2019, and the business recorded trading profit in both its North American and High Street divisions for the financial year, reporting trading profits of £6 million (A$11m) £19 million (A$34.8m) for the divisions respectively

‘Thanks to the outstanding efforts of all our colleagues across the business, we have continued to adapt successfully to the changing environment and we are now in a strong position to grow our business as our markets continue to recover, returning to meaningful profitability in the current financial year,’ group chief executive Carl Cowling said.

Revenue from WHSmith stores in Australia fell to £20 million (A$36.6m) from £38 million (A$70m) in the year to August 2020.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, in August last year WHSmith announced plans for a restructure leading to up to 1500 job losses across the business. In September, US-based investment fund Causeway Capital became the largest shareholder of WHSmith after it upped its stake in the company to around 9%.


Category: International news