WHSmith plans India, Malaysia stores

British retailer WHSmith is planning to expand internationally with new stores planned for India, Malaysia and other markets.

WHSmith, a chain with high street, railway station, airport, hospital and motorway service station shops selling books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, confectionery and entertainment products, plans to open 20 new stores this year.

The new locations include Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Dublin, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Malaysia airports.

“Our international units are performing well, with the WHSmith brand and offer well received in each location by customers and landlords,” the company says.

“We continue to demonstrate that we can add value and deliver improved performance and, where we have replaced the previous operator, we have outperformed. Further progress has been made in a number of regions, including Australia, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East and we have invested in additional resources to develop our international business and support further growth.”

According to CEO Stephen Clarke, travel increased profit to £66 million (US$105 million) and in high street profit increased to £56 million (US$89 million).

“The group remains highly cash generative enabling us to invest in our businesses and in new opportunities, whilst returning cash to shareholders, including a further £50 million (US$80 million) share buyback announced today,” says Clarke.

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