British retailer WH Smith said on Wednesday that a rapid recovery in travel, especially across Europe, has pushed its second-half revenue 'comfortably' ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
The travel industry has seen a surge in demand for summer travel since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in many countries, leading to disruption at airports and longer waiting times for passengers.
WH Smith, which has stores in travel hubs and sells everything from books, sandwiches to Bluetooth headphones, said it has benefited from the rise in passenger numbers despite the disruptions.
Signs Of Recovery
It said that the UK and North America markets continue to perform well and it was seeing signs of recovery across all its other markets as well, with Europe gaining momentum most rapidly and Australia and Asia showing notable improvements.
Revenue at its travel business rose 29% in the 26-week period ended 27 August, compared with 2019 numbers.
Its high-street business, however, remained below pre-pandemic numbers at 80% of 2019 levels for the same period, hit by a cyber incident in April affecting its online greeting card business.
WH Smith said it was looking to save costs at its high-street shops, mainly through rent reductions.