WH Smith revenue surges ahead of pre-pandemic levels
WH Smith has said it continued to benefit the ongoing recovery in travel retail in the 15 weeks to 11 June, which meant its group revenue was ahead of 2019 levels for the first time at 107%.
The book and stationery retailer said its travel business saw strong revenue uplifts in the UK, North America and the rest of the world. During the period, travel UK total revenue was at 104% versus 2019. By channel in the UK, air was 114%, hospitals were 102% and rail was 87%.
The retailer said it is still seeing significant growth opportunities across the global travel retail market and currently has over 125 stores “won” and yet to open.
Meanwhile, revenue at the retailer’s UK high street business sat at 79% compared to 2019 as it benefited from good sales of Platinum Jubilee ranges and a focus on front of store “mega” deals.
As a result of the performance, WH Smith now expects its full year outturn to be at the higher end of analysts’ expectations.
Looking ahead, WH Smith said: “While the broader global economy remains uncertain, the group is well positioned to capitalise on the ongoing recovery in our key markets and take advantage of the many opportunities ahead, including the 125 new stores won and yet to open, and our new store formats and category development across multiple geographies.
“Travel continues to perform strongly across all three divisions and we expect this to be maintained into the peak summer trading period.”
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