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UPDATE 1-WH Smith says CEO Kate Swann to step down, shares fall

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* Managing director Steve Clarke to take over on July 1

* Full-year pretax profit rises 10 pct to 102 mln stg

* Full-year sales fall 2 pct

(Adds share movement and comments from Swann, analyst)

Oct 11 (Reuters) - WH Smith Plc said ChiefExecutive Kate Swann will step down on June 30, after runningthe books and stationery retailer for a decade, sending itsshares down as much as 7 percent.

Steve Clarke, managing director of the company's High Streetdivision, will take over from Swann on July 1.

"She is highly regarded, so if she's leaving people say shehas done very well, that could be the end of it," Panmure Gordonanalyst Philip Dorgan told Reuters.

Swann is credited for turning around the business,streamlining operations and initiating buyback programmes thathave made WH Smith a darling of investors and analysts.

"I certainly don't intend to retire," she replied to aquestion on her future plans during a conference call withreporters.

Under Swann's leadership the company has moved away fromselling less profitable items such as CDs and DVDs to focus onbooks and stationery.

"Getting out of entertainment, nine years ago that was not apopular thing to do, it was a quarter of our sales, but it hasclearly proved to be very helpful," Swann said.

Swann, who began her career at Tesco Plc as amarketing executive, was appointed to WH Smith's board inNovember 2003.

The company also said September-August pretax profit rose 10percent to 102 million pounds ($163.41 million). Sales fell 2percent with like-for-like sales down 5 percent.

WH Smith's shares were down more than 4 percent at 623.5pence at 0800 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. They have risen21 percent since the start of the year.

($1 = 0.6242 British pounds)

(Reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by DonSebastian)

((karen.rebelo@thomsonreuters.com)(within UK +44 20 75421810)(outside UK +91 80 4135 6102)(Reuters Messaging:karen.rebelo.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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