Retailers WH Smith and Mothercare have both reported increases in profits and trading respectively as confidence slowly returns to the high street and in particular e-commerce users.

In preliminary end of year results WH Smith, which specialises in popular books, newspapers, magazines and stationary, said it has achieved a pre-tax profit of £1.34 billion, which has allowed it to launch a £35 million share buy-back programme.

The WH Smith stores at railway stations, motorway services and airports performed better than its high street chain. WH Smith has 490 travel outlets which achieved 33 per cent of their growth, a rise of eight per cent. The high street chain, which consists of 565 stores, witnessed a slide in sales by five per cent, a like-for-like drop of six per cent.

An efficiency programme has already achieved £15m in cost savings for its high street stores and has identified a further £14m in savings that it will achieve in the next three years.

WH Smith began as a travel related retailer setting up its first stores in the early days of rail travel.

Motherhood and baby care retailer Mothercare reported today that total sales for the second quarter ending October 10, 2009 were up by 8.2 per cent and that its internet sales service increased sales by 14.4 per cent.

The Mothercare online and Direct in Home business has been growing strongly throughout this year and increased sales by 30 per cent in April.