WHSmith records revenue hike as travel business grows

WHSmith has recorded a revenue boost of eight per cent as the British retailer’s rapidly growing travel business drives higher sales.

In its latest trading update, covering the five months to 20 January, WHSmith revealed that its travel division saw revenue jump by 15 per cent over the period.

In the UK market, revenue was also up 15 per cent, while in North America it increased by seven per cent.

Around the rest of the world, revenue soared by almost a fifth.

In Travel UK, its largest division, total revenue was up 15 per cent compared to the previous year. The company said that this was driven by improving passenger numbers across UK air, strong performance in hospitals, and a well-performing rail business.

The results come after the retailer recently opened its largest store in UK travel, a 6,000 sq ft one-stop-shop format for travel essentials at Birmingham airport.

"Our Travel business is growing strongly across all our divisions and we have seen a notably strong performance in the UK, our largest division, with total revenue up 15 per cent and like-for-like revenue up 14 per cent," said Carl Cowling, group chief executive. “During the period, we successfully opened our largest UK Travel store at Birmingham airport – a one-stop-shop for travel essentials - and we have received very positive feedback from both landlord and customers."

WHSmith said that in the next financial year it has plans to open 50 new stores in North America.

In total around the world it is planning to open 110 stores over the 12-month period.

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