WHSmith trading ahead of 2019 levels
By Sarah Wood | 15th June 2022
WHSmith saw a big recovery in its travel business in the last quarter.
For the first time since the pandemic, sales were ahead of 2019 levels, at 107 per cent, with a particularly strong performance from its travel arm, which was at 123 per cent of 2019 levels.
The report said: "As passenger numbers recover, we continue to see strong growth and higher penetration driven by our ongoing focus to significantly enhance our ranges and develop our categories, such as health and beauty and technology."
High street sales at the retailer, which has stores in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, were still down at 79 per cent of 2019 sales.
The high street business was affected by the recent Funky Pigeon cyber attack, but WHSmith said Platinum Jubilee ranges proved popular with customers.
The retailer expects its strong performance to continue across its three travel divisions - airports, railway stations and hospitals - during the peak summer trading period. As a result, it anticipates the full year outturn to be at the higher end of analysts' expectations.
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