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WH Smith will on Thursday announce an expansion of its overseas business.
Sources close to the retailer said recent trials of overseas outlets in transport hubs such as airports and train stations had proved successful enough to convince the company to mount a new push abroad.
The move has been widely discussed in the City, prompting an upgrade from Credit Suisse last week.
Analysts at the bank wrote: “Our view is that the existing Travel business model has been built up to the point where it will now serve as a platform for further premium growth.”
They added: “We believe that it is about to expand outside the UK and that this will be a very large opportunity.”
Since that note, shares in the company have risen roughly 5 per cent to 497.1p.
Freddie George, an analyst at Seymour Pierce, pointed out: “They were doing international airport stores years ago, but sold all of those.”
The company already operates two foreign airport outlets: at Shannon airport in Ireland and Roskilde airport in Copenhagen. But it is looking to expand that number in a search for future growth, with the UK market looking increasingly saturated.
The move is the next stage of the company’s growth strategy, after it decided to exit the declining home entertainment market.
The announcement will come when WH Smith reports its final results, which are expected to show that pre-tax profit rose over 6 per cent to around £81m ($130m).
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