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WHSmith online sales edge up

WH Smith

WHSmith has reported a 2% rise in online and high street sales, raising profit expectations for the full financial year thanks to its soaring travel business.

In a trading update for the 13 weeks ended 27 May 2023, the stationary retailer reported a 31% rise in total travel revenues compared to the same period last year.

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In the period, revenues for its UK travel arm were up 24% on last year, as air sales were up 26%, 33% in hospitals and rail 10% despite the ongoing impact of industrial action, respectively.

Following the strong momentum WHSmith claimed first quarter group sales were up 23% year on year.

Looking ahead, the group believes it is in a good position as it approaches the peak summer trading period.

The group said: “Trading is strong across all three travel divisions, and we are very well positioned to capitalise on the substantial growth drivers across our markets. Since our announcement on the 20 April, our expectations for the full financial year have modestly improved”

Last month, WHSmith unveiled plans to open over 120 new shops thanks to stellar first half results.

In the six months ended 28 February 2023, the stationary company reported a pre-tax profit of £45 million compared with £14 million in the same period last year.

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