WHSmith interim results show strong TR growth as it eyes more locations

By Benedict Evans |

WHSmith London Heathrow

WHSmith says it expects to open a total of 11o stores through 2024.

WHSmith has posted strong growth figures for the first half of FY24, with its total travel retail revenue rising 13% yoy to £670m, as it recorded increases in trading profit in both the  UK travel retail and North America markets.

Group revenues hit £926m for H124, an 8% increase over H123, and the British retailer also recorded promising growth elsewhere in regions like Australia, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. ‘Rest of the world’ accounted for £121m in revenue, a 19% increase over H123.

Carl Cowling, Group Chief Executive, commented: “The Group is in its strongest ever position as a global travel retailer. We have had a good first half and our businesses are well positioned for the peak summer trading period.

Our travel divisions are trading well and I am particularly pleased with the outstanding performance from our UK Travel business which has seen a 19% increase in trading profit. We continue to make excellent progress in this division, growing our space and broadening our categories as we transition to a one-stop-shop for travel essentials.”

Compared to the same period in 2023, in the 6 months to February 2024, WHSmith’ total travel revenue (year-on-year) was up 13%, climbing from £593m to £670m.

Its also noted as of February 2024 it had 80 stores won and yet to open within travel retail, including over 50 in North America, some of which have already been opened (check story links below for details).

WHSmith H124

UK travel retail saw the single largest regional growth, recording a 15% revenue increase yoy from £314m to £360m, making it the British retailers largest single (regional) growth market.

WHSmith currently operates in 29 UK airports and over 120 airports internationally. Its flagship London Heathrow store features a a full pharmacy offer from partner Well Pharmacy, including a qualified in-store pharmacist and  a comprehensive health and beauty offer.

Cowling added: “In North America, it has been a very active period where we have opened a further 13 stores. We have also now fully integrated InMotion into our core airport business. This will allow us to sell tech accessories more effectively across our North American airport estate and generate operational efficiencies.

“The second half of the financial year has started well, and we are on track to deliver full year expectations. We are confident that 2024 will be another year of significant progress for the Group.”

READ MORE: WHSmith North America cuts ribbon on four new stores at Nashville Airport

READ MORE: WHSmith steps foot into Calgary with three stores selling electronics and gifts

READ MORE: WHSmith continues curi-o-city expansion with Belfast City Airport store

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