WH Smith reports trading ahead of expectations

WH Smith

A strong performance in its travel market has seen results at Swindon-headquartered news and stationery retailer WH Smith push above 2019 levels for the first time, at 107 per cent.

The company said that its UK business is performing strongly. As passenger numbers recover, it continues to see strong average transaction value growth and higher penetration driven by its focus on significantly enhances its ranges and developing categories such as health and beauty and technology.

As a percentage of revenue, travel represented 123 per cent, with high street sales at 79 per cent, making the group total 107 per cent.

Its recently opened InMotion stores across UK airports are performing well. In the 15 weeks to 11 June 2022, Travel UK total revenue was at 104 per cent versus 2019. By channel in the UK, air was 114 per cent, hospitals were 102 per cent and rail was 87 per cent compared to 2019 levels.

However, WM Smith stores on the High Street have not yet recovered. Total revenue in the 15 week period to 11 June 2022 versus 2019 was at 79 per cent. This includes the impact from a cyber incident on Funky Pigeon in April.

Its North America business continues to show strong momentum with total revenue during the 15 week period at 111 per cent  of 2019 levels. TSA (Transportation Security Administration) data recorded passenger numbers for the month of May at around 90 per cent of 2019 levels. During the period it has won further stores, including four stores at Chicago O’Hare airport. Las Vegas continues to perform strongly.

In its Rest of the World division, WH Smith is now seeing recovery across all markets, including Asia and Australia, with the strongest recovery in Europe.