Travel stores drive WHSmith profit

by TnP Staff
Published: 16 June 2017, 08:00
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Latest trading update shows sales up two per cent overall with travel driving growth

Travel store sales are driving profits at WHSmith with its latest trading update revealing an eight per cent increase on that side of the business.

Like-for-like sales were up by five per cent, and the company remain confident despite current economic uncertainty around Brexit and the General Election.

The figures released yesterday, 14 June, show total group sales were up by two per cent over the 15-week period from March 1 to June 10, while on the high street side both total sales and like-for-like sales each fell by four per cent.

The company statement said: “In our High Street business we continue with our profit-focused strategy, with sales in the period in line with expectations. Gross margin improvement and cost savings have been delivered in line with plan.

“Our post office opening programme is on track and we have now relocated 58 of the 61 that we announced in April 2016. This brings the total number of post offices now open within our High Street stores to 165.

“The Travel business sales performance reflects our ongoing focus on customer service, execution, space and category management as well as the continued increase in passenger numbers. Gross margin increased in line with plan.

“Our new store opening programme is progressing well both in the UK and internationally. We are on target to open 15 units in the UK this year and have won further units internationally including six units in Rome which will open in July.

“While there remains some uncertainty with regard to the broader economic environment, we continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business to position us well for the future. We remain confident in the outcome for the full year.”