WHSmith sales soar as international travel returns post-Covid

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WHSmith is going from strength to strength since the Covid-19 pandemic

WHSmith has announced that its sales have surged thanks to the return to international travel since the Covid-19 pandemic. The group, which has many stores located in airports and train stations, reported a 28% rise in total group revenues over the year to August 31, after 17% rise in the second half.

Sales in its travel arm leapt 42% higher, up 27% on a like-for-like basis as trading has been buoyed across its stores based at sites including airports and railway stations due to the recovery in travel worldwide. Second-half comparable travel sales lifted 15%, while sales edged 1% higher in its high street estate.

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Earlier this year the retailer announced plans to open 120 new shops globally following an increase in sales after the easing of Covid travel restrictions. WHSmith said it is moving attention towards expanding its travel sector instead of focusing on its traditional high street stores.

WH Smith said: “In the UK, we saw continued strength in air passenger numbers in the peak holiday season, building on the recovery in passenger numbers that we saw in the second half of the previous financial year.”

WH Smith said full-year sales jumped higher thanks to the rebound in international travelWH Smith said full-year sales jumped higher thanks to the rebound in international travel
WH Smith said full-year sales jumped higher thanks to the rebound in international travel | Philip Toscano/PA Wire

In April, WHSmith confirmed that out of the 120 new store expansion, 15 new stores will open across the UK, but the company is yet to confirm the locations of the retail spaces. However, the stationary giant has confirmed that a large focus of the expansion will focus on its North American business.

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