WH Smith returns to profit
WH Smith has returned to profit after a successful year in which it reached its strongest ever position in the travel market.
In the 12 months to 31 August, the book and stationery retailer posted a pre-tax profit of £61 million compared to a loss of £104 million last year.
Furthermore, revenue climbed to £1.4 billion from £886 million in the previous 12-month period.
WH Smith’s travel business performed particularly well and posted a trading profit of £89 million compared to a prior loss of £39 million. While first half revenue was impacted by the Covid-19 Omicron variant from December to February, the business benefited from a recovery in the travel market in subsequent months which meant sales rose by 131% to £927 million.
Meanwhile, WH Smith’s high street stores grew their pre-tax profit to £33 million from £19 million in the previous 12-month period despite a 2% fall in revenue to £473 million.
Carl Cowling, WH Smith group chief executive, said: “2022 has been a successful year for WHSmith and we enter the new financial year with the Group in its strongest ever position as a global travel retailer with multiple growth opportunities across the world.
“Our high street division, including our online businesses, delivered another resilient and profitable performance. These businesses continue to generate strong cash flow allowing us to invest across the group.
“The achievements of the last year are due to the tremendous efforts of the entire team around the world for which I am sincerely grateful.”.
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