WH Smith benefits from strong travel sales
WH Smith has reached its “strongest ever position as a global travel retailer” after total sales at sites in UK airports, railway stations and hospitals rose by 70% year-on-year in the 20 weeks to 14 January.
Meanwhile travel revenue in North America and the rest of the world increased by 31% and 198% respectively.
Giving an update on its high street stores, WH Smith said total sales were down 2% with flat like-for-likes, which was in line with expectations. The retailer said it maintained good stock availability through the peak trading period and exited Christmas with a clean stock position.
The results meant that total group sales rose by 41% year-on-year in the period and by 20% on pre-Covid levels in 2019.
Carl Cowling, WH Smith group chief executive, said: “Our strategy to transform our customer offer continues at pace through broadening our categories and expanding our ranges, to include health and beauty and tech accessories, and is underpinned by a forensic approach to retail.
“The group is in its strongest ever position as a global travel retailer. This strength, combined with the ongoing improvement in passenger numbers across the globe, means that we are confident of another year of significant growth in 2023.”
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