WHSmith doubles full year profits

WHSmith has reported a pre-tax profit rise of 96 per cent in its latest financial year.

Profits before tax stood at £143 million across the 12 months ended 31 August versus £73 million during the same period of 2022

The British retailer’s financials indicate the near doubling of its profits was largely driven by strong performance in its travel divisions.

“Our travel divisions have all seen strong growth with travel UK total revenue up 36 per cent, North America up 32 per cent and ROW [rest of world] up 99 per cent,” said group chief executive Carl Cowling. “We have started the new financial year well with total revenue in travel UK up 13 per cent, North America up 15 per cent, and ROW up 27 per cent.”

He added: “In 2024, we expect to invest a further £140 million which will drive further growth and at the same time we expect our leverage to fall within our target range.”

Cowling announced over the summer that WHSmith had no plans to open further High Street outlets and would instead be turning its focus to its UK travel stores while also bolstering its store portfolio in the US and Europe.

The chief executive told the BBC at the time that WHSmith planned to spend about £120 million in 2023 on opening shops in the US and Europe.

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