WH Smith increases 2014 interim dividend by 15%

DividendMax Ltd.

WH Smith increases 2014 interim dividend by 15%

Interim dividend of 10.8p, up 15% on the prior year

Strong cash generation and balance sheet; free cash flow4 of £53m

Good progress with return of cash to shareholders; as at 9 April, 2.1m shares purchased and £21m of cash returned to shareholders

Group total sales down 4% with like-for-like (LFL) sales down 4%

o Travel total sales up 2% with LFL sales down 1%

o High Street total sales down 7% with LFL sales down 6%

Gross margin improved by 190 basis points

Good progress made in Travel's growing international channel with over 150 units now won

In line with latest plan, High Street delivered cost savings of £9m in the half, with a further £5m identified for the second half; on track for £14m of costs savings for the full year

Stephen Clarke, Group Chief Executive said:

"The Group has delivered another strong performance, with profit growth in Travel and High Street, demonstrating the continuing success of our strategy.

"The Group remains highly cash generative. During the first half we returned £47m to shareholders through the dividend and share buyback announced in October 2013 and today we have increased the interim dividend by 15%.

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