Tuesday 27 September 2016

Sales of latest 'Fifty Shades' boost WH Smith's profits

Gordon Deegan

Published 25/03/2016 | 02:30

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in ‘50 Shades of Grey’ film
Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in ‘50 Shades of Grey’ film

Bumper sales of 'Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian' and publishing phenomenon 'The Girl on the Train' helped bookseller WH Smith to a profits boost.

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The Irish arms of WH Smith saw pre-tax profits rise by 20pc to €1.8m last year.

New accounts filed by WH Smith Ireland Ltd show that revenues rose from €19.29m to €23.69m in the 12 months to the end of August last.

Numbers employed by the firm increased from 74 to 87.

WH Smith won the contract to run shops in Dublin airport's Terminal One in August 2013 and the firm benefited last year from the record 25 million passengers that went through the airport in 2015.

The WH Smith business here was also helped by the books market here growing by 10.8pc in value last year and 4.4pc in volume, according to the Neilsen annual book sales report for 2015.

According to Neilsen, the year's big hitters included Anne Enright's 'The Green Road'; 'Until Victory Always' by Jim McGuinness; 'Brooklyn' by Colm Tóibin; and Joe Duffy's 'The Children of the Rising'.

Neilsen said that 'The Girl on the Train' outsold the latest 'Fifty Shades of Grey' by more than two to one to take the top spot in the adult fiction category.

Staff costs at WH Smith increased from €2.32m to €2.59m. The profit last year takes account of non-cash deprecation costs of €607,151. The firm's rental payments jumped from €4.3m to €5.34m.

Shareholder funds totalled €4.16m while the firm's cash stood at €6.46m.

Irish Independent

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