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Retailer WH Smith Expects Higher Profit On Strong Summer Travel

By Donna Ahern
Retailer WH Smith Expects Higher Profit On Strong Summer Travel

WH Smith on Wednesday forecasted higher full-year profit as the British retailer bet on strong travel demand during the summer after it witnessed robust trading across its global travel business.

Leisure and business travel are back to pre-pandemic levels, boosting sales at stores in transit locations.

Still, high costs in an uncertain economic environment continue to loom for the sector.

"Our expectations for the full financial year have modestly improved," the company said in a statement, but did not provide an annual outlook range.

Forecast 

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Analysts on average expect full-year profit before tax to be at £143 million, according to a company-compiled consensus.

The company, which has stores in travel hubs and sells everything from books and sandwiches to Bluetooth headphones, said its total group revenue for the 13-week period ended 27 May was up 23% year-on-year.

UK travel segment saw its revenue up 24% in the reported period, which had key holidays such as the Easter weekend, May bank holidays and the coronation.

WH Smith's high street division revenue was up 2%.

Shares Fall 

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On the 21 April, despite the robust performance, WH Smith's shares were down 1.8% at 1,595 pence as of 0930 GMT, reflecting disappointment in some segments of the business.

Brokerage RBC said sales in the UK travel business were lower than it expected and that the high street recorded slightly lower-than-estimated margins.

Read More: WH Smith Upbeat As Travel Rebound Spurs Profit Beat

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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