WH Smith records 28% hike in revenue after strong summer trading

Total revenue at WH Smith increased by 28 per cent in its latest financial year.

Travel revenue was up by 75 per cent in the first half of the year ended 31 August, while in the second half it increased by 23 per cent.

The British retailer said that its travel businesses continue to benefit from recovered passenger numbers across key travel markets over the period.

While High Street revenue was down by one per cent, the company said that the business had “performed well and in line with expectations" for the 12-month period.

The figures come after WH Smith's chief executive revealed the company had no plans to open further UK High Street outlets.

In June, Carl Cowling said that instead WH Smith would turn its focus to the UK travel market, while also bolstering its store portfolio in the US and Continental Europe.

In the company's latest financial results, it said that its focused in-store travel strategy had delivered "strong ATV growth and higher penetration", driven largely by improved ranges, including food, and the broadening of categories to incorporate health and beauty and technology.

Over the 12-months, the company opened 20 new stores, including eight new stores in hospitals. It plans to open a further 15 stores in hospitals by the end of next year.

WH Smith said during the financial year ending 31 August 2024 it plans to open more than 40 new stores in North America and a further 25 stores across the rest of the world.

"Including our UK Travel business, we therefore anticipate opening over 80 new stores across all our Travel businesses in the financial year ending August 2024, demonstrating the growth prospects in Travel across all our geographical markets," said the retailers.

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