WHSmith’s travel revenues soar as it announces 120-store pipeline

WHSmith has recorded an ‘ahead of expectations’ revenue spike of 41 per cent to £859 million in the six months to 28 February 2023 as its travel stores thrive.

Much of the revenue was attributable to the retailer’s travel stores situated in airports and other transport hubs, with 29 new outlets opened in North America during the period.

The figures come as the group shares that it has a new store pipeline of over 120 stores won in tender and due to open in travel, including 60 in North America, with group chief executive Carl Cowling remarking that it expects travel to represent “over 70 per cent of group revenue” by the end of this financial year.

At £593 million, travel stores accounted for over 75 per cent of bottom line revenues, with High Street revenues making up the remaining £266 million.

The £859 million in revenue outstrips the same period last year, which totalled £608 million, while profits tripled to £45 million compared to £14 million in the previous year.

Commenting further on its travel stores, Cowling said: “I am increasingly excited by the opportunity in our rest of the world division.”

He added: “Our strategy of establishing a presence in multiple countries as a base for significant growth is demonstrated well by the growth in our store estates in Spain, Germany and Australia.

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