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Technology boosts savings at WHSmith

Retailer WHSmith says it has delivered savings thanks to IT improvements and tight cost management.

According to the company's latest financial results released earlier this month, like-for-like sales were down 3% in the company's high street arm. However, the division generated £7m in cost savings for the six months to 28 February.

"Cost savings were delivered from a number of areas of the business including variable costs associated with entertainment, store efficiencies through the use of more technology and further supply chain efficiencies," the company said.

The firm's sales decreased by 4% to £686m over the period, despite a 3% profit boost to £64m helped by cost controls, as well as a sharper focus on margin improvement.

WH Smith also said sales in the book market continue to be difficult but the company saw "encouraging share performance versus the general retail market" as it pressed ahead with efforts to become a popular books specialist.

Part of that strategy includes the development of the firm's e-book offering: the company's virtual bookstore has around 30,000 e-books, accessible via PCs, tablet devices including the iPad, e-readers and smartphones.


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