WH Smith upbeat on full year outcome
WH Smith has forecast improved full year results after its travel business continued to perform well across all of its key markets.
In a trading update for the 13 weeks to 27 May, the book and stationery retailer said total travel revenue was up 31% versus the same period in the prior year.
Looking at the UK, travel revenue increased by 24% year-on-year following uplifts of 26% at airports and 33% in hospitals. Revenue at railway stations was up 10% despite the ongoing impact of industrial action.
WH Smith said it has now won over 70 stores in travel so far in the current financial year, including at Salt Lake City and Portland airports in the US. It now has a pipeline of 130 stores won and yet to open.
Meanwhile the retailer’s high street business, including online, increased its revenue by 2% in the 13 week period. WH Smith said its store network performed well with total revenue up 2% compared to the corresponding period last year.
The results meant that group revenue rose by 23% year-on-year in the period.
Looking ahead, the retailer said: “The group is in a good position as we approach the peak summer trading period. Trading is strong across all three travel divisions, and we are very well positioned to capitalise on the substantial growth drivers across our markets. Since our announcement on the 20 April, our expectations for the full financial year have modestly improved.”
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