WHSmith’s travel arm continues to drive sales

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WHSmith update

WHSmith’s travel arm continues to be the main driver of sales growth at the retailer, with its high street operation dipping again in its latest trading update.

For the 13 weeks to June 2, the books and stationery retailer reported a four per cent rise in group sales, while like-for-like sales grew one per cent year-on-year.

The heritage retailer credited much of its growth to its travel arm – or stores based in train stations, motorways and airports – which saw growth of eight per cent along with a three per cent up tick in like-for-like sales.

On the other hand, WHSmith’s less lucrative high street stores saw like-for-like sales and total high street sales dip one per cent respectively in what it said was its “quietest trading period”.

The retailer said it remained on target to open between 15 and 20 stores in the UK this year.

“We have delivered a good sales performance in the third quarter in both our travel and high street businesses,” chief executive Stephen Clarke said.

“Whilst there is some uncertainty in the broader economic environment, WHSmith serves millions of customers each week and continues to grow both internationally and in the UK.

“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.

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