Return to travel boosts WHSmith sales

Sales at WHSmith are ahead of 2019 levels for the first time.

The company’s overall group revenue in the 15 weeks to 11 June was seven per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The British retailer said that the business continues to benefit from the ongoing recovery across its key travel markets, with sales up 23 per cent in the third quarter compared to the same period three years ago.

However across its High Street stores, revenue was down 11 per cent compared to numbers recorded before the pandemic.

The company said that figures were impacted by a cyber attack that targeted Funky Pigeon in April.

The personalised cards and gifts business, which is owned by WHSmith, suspended all orders after taking its systems offline following a cybersecurity incident.

The company was unable to fulfil any orders while it restored its services.

In the UK, revenue was up four per cent in the quarter, while the US saw sales increase 11 per cent.

In the rest of the world, including Asia, Continental Europe, and Australia, numbers were 12 per cent lower than pre-Covid levels.

The retailer said that while the global economy remains uncertain it is looking ahead to opening 125 new stores.

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