Will the mixed-merchandise retailer be forced to issue another profit warning?
Concern that WHSmith is staring another disastrous Christmas in the face is growing, as analysts continue to predict that the mixed-merchandise retailer is going to make another profit warning.

Evolution analyst Nick Bubb said that the retailer's reliance on price promotions was eating into its gross margins.

He said: 'We still think that WHSmith will struggle to make even our£50 million profit before tax forecast.'

Bubb's comments echo misgivings sent out by other analysts last week.

Baird retail analyst Paul Smiddy drew attention to the inexperience of some key staff.

He said: 'Having fired many more experienced buyers, sourcing and ranging is in the hands of very junior staff. Suppliers believe WHSmith is seriously under-potentialising its market share.'

WHSmith responded to these comments by saying that they were just two voices out of 13 analysts which continually followed the retailer's movements.

The vast majority of these forecasted profits for the retailer nearer to£65 million to£70 million.

A WHSmith spokeswoman said: 'We are happy with that consensus'.

The retailer confirmed that it would not make any further statements about its trading until its scheduled Christmas trading statement on January 27.