WH Smith hails ‘good start’ to the year as travel recovers, despite loss of £104m

WH Smith has hailed a “good start” to the new financial year amid a continued recovery in its travel stores.
“We are a financially strong and resilient group with significant opportunities to grow." : Carl Cowling.
// WH Smith reports a group pre-tax loss of £104m for the year to August
// Total revenues for the year dropped by 13% against figures for the previous year

WH Smith has hailed a “good start” to the new financial year amid a continued recovery in its travel stores as the travel sector opened up from Covid-19 restrictions.

It came as the stationary retailer reported a group pre-tax loss of £104 million for the year to August, reducing its losses from £226 million last year.

Meanwhile, revenue fell to £886 million from £1.02 billion a year earlier as growth in its high street operation was offset by lower sales from train station and airport shops amid reduced traveller footfall.

WH Smith group chief executive Carl Cowling said: “The group has delivered a good performance in the evolving trading environment.

“Despite the challenges of the UK high street, more generally, our high street business has delivered a resilient and profitable performance.

“Our online businesses have delivered strong growth in the year, including a record performance from funkypigeon.com.

“We are a financially strong and resilient group with significant opportunities to grow.

“While we continue to plan with caution, the group is well positioned to capitalise on the recovery in our key markets and take advantage of the many exciting opportunities ahead.”

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