WH Smith announced its trading update on Wednesday, which saw a strong performance from its travel unit in the second half, causing revenue to be comfortably in excess of pre-Covid levels.
At the time of writing, WH Smith shares are down 3%.
Despite ongoing disruptions, its travel business continued to benefit from a recovery in passenger numbers across all key markets. Well, airports are flooded with WH Smith stores.
Travel revenues surged 129% compared to the 2019 pre-covid level in the 26 weeks ended 27 August. As a result, group revenue rallied 112% over the same period.
However, WH Smith noted high street levels were lagging slightly behind at 80% of 2019 revenue.
“We continue to make good progress with our store opening programme and we remain in a strong position to benefit from the significant growth opportunities across the global travel retail market,” stated WH Smith.
After its positive results, WH Smith expects its full-year results to be in line with recently upgraded expectations.
Finally, with WH Smith being a travel retailer, increased passenger numbers will likely translate to higher sales for the company. And, as we can see, passenger numbers in Heathrow have been growing since May 2021, causing a boost in WH Smith’s revenue.