WH Smith’s profits boosted by travel business
Book and stationery retailer WH Smith has reported that its full year group pre-tax profit rose by 7% to £140 million as revenue at its travel business overtook that of its high street stores for the first time.
In the year to August, trading profit in its travel locations business increased by 10% although profit at high street stores was flat.
Like-for-like sales at the travel business rose by 4% but declined by the same percentage on the high street.
Meanwhile, group revenue was up 2% to £1.2 billion.
Stephen Clarke, WH Smith chief executive, said: “The travel business continues to perform well with strong revenue growth, up 9% in the year. For the first time, revenue in travel has overtaken high street and travel is now the largest part of the group in both revenue and profit.
“The high street business performed well – matching the particularly strong profit performance from last year. Our investment in new product design continues to drive stationery revenue and we have been pleased with the success of the recently launched Tom Fletcher Kids Book Club.”
In what was WH Smith’s 225th anniversary year, the retailer opened its 225th international store. It now has 273 stores across 25 countries, including new stores in Singapore and Rome.
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