WH Smith boosted by travel performance
Book and stationery retailer WH Smith saw its like-for-like sales edge up 1% in the 11 weeks to 18 May following a good performance at its stores in travel locations.
Total sales rose by 15% in the period.
Like-for-like sales in the retailer’s travel business increased by 3% while total sales rose by 26%. WH Smith said the performance was boosted by its ongoing focus on format development, customer service, space and category management and continued investment in its UK and international businesses.
The retailer’s hospital channel is continuing to grow and will overtake rail to become the second biggest channel by revenue this financial year.
Meanwhile, WH Smith’s high street stores saw both their total and like-for-like sales decline by 1% in the period. The retailer said its stationery business performed well following an investment in developing ranges and allocating additional space in stores.
Stephen Clarke, group chief executive of WH Smith, said: “We have delivered a strong sales performance in the third quarter in both our travel and high street businesses. Whilst there is some uncertainty in the broader economic and political environment, we are well placed as we approach the key summer trading period in travel. We continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business to position us well for the future. We remain confident in the outcome for the full year.”
The company has also announced that Carl Cowling, managing director of the company’s high street business, is to replace Clark as WH Smith chief executive as part of a long-term succession plan.
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