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WH Smith hails strong performance of travel business

WH Smith has seen an uplift in half-year sales and profit following a strong performance in its travel division. In the six months to 29 February,… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE NEWS

WH Smith hails strong performance of travel business

WH Smith has seen an uplift in half-year sales and profit following a strong performance in its travel division.

In the six months to 29 February, group revenue rose by 8% to £926 million while group pre-tax profit before underlying items came in at £46 million compared to £45 million in the prior year.

At WH Smith’s travel division, which includes stores in rail stations and airports, total revenue increased by 13% with respective uplifts of 15%, 13% and 24% in the UK, North America and the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, total travel trading profit climbed to £50 million from a prior £47 million, although WH Smith’s high street business saw a £2 million decline to £22 million.

Carl Cowling, WH Smith group chief executive, said: “The group is in its strongest ever position as a global travel retailer. We have had a good first half and our businesses are well positioned for the peak summer trading period.

“Our travel divisions are trading well and I am particularly pleased with the outstanding performance from our UK travel business which has seen a 19% increase in trading profit.

“We continue to make excellent progress in this division, growing our space and broadening our categories as we transition to a one-stop-shop for travel essentials.”

WH Smith now has a new store pipeline of over 80 sites won and yet to open in its travel division, 50 of which are in North America.

With its peak summer trading period still to come, the retailer said it is is on track to meet its full year expectations after making a good start to the second half of its financial year.

Cowling said: “The second half of the financial year has started well, and we are on track to deliver full year expectations. We are confident that 2024 will be another year of significant progress for the group.”

 

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