Profits soar at WH Smith’s Irish airport shops

Accounts show pre-tax profits at company’s Irish outlets increased by 37% to €3.36m

Pre-tax profits increased by 37 per cent to €3.36 million at the Irish arm of WH Smith as the company benefited from record numbers of passengers going through Dublin airport.

New accounts show that revenues increased by 8 per cent to €31.1 million in the year to the end of August 2018.

WH Smith operated nine stores at Dublin airport in the period under review, and the business shared in the dividend from the record 31.5 million passengers travelling through Dublin Airport in 2018. It also has shops in Cork and Shannon airports, having entered the Irish market a decade ago.

Sales of Letters to My Daughter by the late Emma Hannigan, Holding by Graham Norton and the Aisling novels by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen helped sales during the year.

Staff costs

The accounts show that the Irish business paid a dividend of €4.5 million during the year. Staff costs remained at the same level in 2018 at €3.03 million, with 166 staff employed by the company.

Its gross margin was 55.7 per cent last year compared to 54.8 per cent in 2017 while the company’s rental payments increased from €6.17 million to €6.74 million.

Shareholder funds at the end of August last year totalled €3.2 million while its firm’s cash pile decreased from €3.5 million to €1.6 million.