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WH Smith on track for full year after 'good' first half

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 25 Apr 2024

WH Smith on track for full year after 'good' first half

(Sharecast News) - WH Smith said on Thursday that it was on track to deliver on expectations for the year after a "good" first half.
In the six months to 29 February, headline group profit before tax and non-underlying items ticked up to £46m from £45m in the same period a year earlier, with total group revenue up 8% to £926m.

Revenue from the travel business was up 13%, with Travel UK revenue 15% higher year-on-year. North America saw a 13% increase, while rest of the world revenues rose 24%.

Trading profit in the travel segment increased to £50m from £47m and High Street trading profit declined to £22m from £24m.

The retailer said it continues to see strong momentum across all of its markets as it benefits from growing passenger numbers.

The pace of winning new business in the travel segment remains "strong", it said. Across the UK, North America and Rest of World, it won 31 stores in the half and now has more than 80 stores won and due to open, of which it expects to open over 55 in the second half of the tear.

Chief executive Carl Cowling said: "Our travel divisions are trading well and I am particularly pleased with the outstanding performance from our UK Travel business which has seen a 19% increase in trading profit.

"We continue to make excellent progress in this division, growing our space and broadening our categories as we transition to a one-stop-shop for travel essentials.

"In North America, it has been a very active period where we have opened a further 13 stores. We have also now fully integrated InMotion into our core airport business. This will allow us to sell tech accessories more effectively across our North American airport estate and generate operational efficiencies."

He said the second half of the year has started well and the group is on track to deliver full year expectations.

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