WH Smiths says trading is stronger than expected

Retailer WH Smiths says its business continues to perform strongly as it approaches its peak trading period.

The Swindon firm said total travel revenue in the 13 weeks to 27 May was up 31 per cent compared with the prior year.

As a result, expectations for the full financial year have further improved.

The company has opened over 70 new stores in the travel sector so far this financial year. There have been further openings in all three divisions including at Salt Lake City and Portland airports in North America.

The pipeline new stores yet to open currently stands at over 130.

WH Smiths said it is very well positioned for further growth across travel markets in the current financial year and beyond.

Group revenue growth in the period compared to 2022 has increased by 23 per cent compared to last year.

The UK division continues to perform strongly, driven by category expansion and the ongoing recovery in passenger numbers.

In the 13 weeks to 27 May 2023, Travel UK total revenue was up 24 per cent on last year. Total revenue compared to the prior year was up 26 per cent in air and up 33 per cent in hospitals. Rail was up 10 per cent despite the ongoing impact of strikes.

On the high street, total revenue, including online, was up two per cent in the 13 week period to 27 May 2023. Our store network performed well with total revenue up two per cent versus the comparative period last year.

WH Smiths say it is in a good position as we approach the peak summer trading period.

Trading is strong across all three travel divisions, and the company is well positioned to capitalise on the substantial growth drivers across all markets.