British-based retailer WH Smith issued a short trading update for September 1 through November, when same-store High Street sales fell 4 percent. They added: “Whilst we remain cautious about the consumer environment and anticipate competitive trading in our markets over the key Christmas period, we have planned accordingly, and the current financial year has started as we expected.”
In other UK financials, sales at Canongate for calendar 2007 declined almost 4 percent, down to 7.8 million pounds from 8.1 million the year before, while pre-tax profits fell sharply to 271,000 pounds, 60 percent decline from the year before. The company’s highest paid director, “assumed to be Jamie Byng,” earned just under 87,000 pounds while shareholders, of whom Byng is the second largest after his stepfather Sir Christopher Bland, shared a dividend of just over 200,000 pounds.
Canongate is expecting a big lift from the election of Barack Obama, since they publish his books in the UK. The Herald says “Byng now expects to sell at least 500,000 before the end of the year.”
In yet another brief update, Rodale–which as a private company only shares percentage changes in results rather than actual numbers, reports that “Rodale Books saw a decrease of 15% in the third quarter of 2008 versus 2007 across both trade and direct channels.”