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WH Smith resilient as profits rise

WH Smith hailed its resilience as departing chief executive Kate Swann continued the chain's focus on profitability over sales.

Like-for-like revenues fell 5% in the 20 weeks to January 20, but with close management of margins and costs the company said it still delivered a good profits performance.

It is a formula that has worked well for the company, which operates 618 stores on the high street and another 619 at airports, stations and motorway service areas.

In October, WH Smith's profits lifted 10% to £102 mil-lion, compared with the £135m loss in 2004 prior to Ms Swann's appointment.

Ms Swann has shifted the company's focus away from CDs and DVDs and heavy discounting towards books and stationery.

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