Daily Newsletter

07 September 2023

Daily Newsletter

07 September 2023

WH Smith group revenue surges 28%

In its latest pre-close trading update, the travel retailer highlights robust summer trading and anticipates meeting full-year expectations.

Mohamed Dabo September 07 2023

Prior to entering its close period ahead of reporting its preliminary results for the twelve months ending August 31, 2023, WH Smith PLC provides a pre-close update. The company expects its full-year results to be in line with upgraded expectations following the third-quarter trading update on May 31, 2023.

Group revenue for WH Smith PLC witnessed a remarkable 28% increase compared to 2022, primarily driven by the Travel sector, which saw a staggering 42% growth.

This performance reflects a significant boost in passenger numbers in the second half of the 2022 financial year, compared to the first half, which was affected by the Omicron variant.

Travel continues to excel in the second half of 2023, with passenger numbers on a positive trajectory.

Revenue Comparison to 2022:

  • Travel: Total revenue up 42%, with strong performance across H1 and H2.
  • High Street: A modest 1% increase in revenue compared to 2022.

Travel business thrives across key markets

WH Smith PLC's Travel businesses are benefitting from the rebound in passenger numbers across key markets. Their in-store strategy focusing on enhanced product ranges, including food, health and beauty, and technology, has led to strong growth in average transaction value and higher penetration.

  • UK: Continued strength in air passenger numbers during peak holiday season.
  • North America: Strong performance in the recovering North American travel market.
  • Rest of the World: Impressive growth and new business wins in various regions.

Expansion plans highlight promising future

80 new stores planned for the financial year ending August 2024.

WH Smith PLC is poised for further growth, with plans to open over 80 new stores across all Travel businesses in the financial year ending August 2024.

This includes over 40 new stores in North America and 25 new stores in the Rest of the World, demonstrating the company's commitment to expansion and its promising outlook in various geographical markets.

WH Smith PLC's High Street business is performing well and aligning with expectations. The company's strategy focuses on cost efficiencies and maximizing the return on retail space.

Preliminary results presentation due on 9 November 2023.

Investors and analysts can look forward to WH Smith PLC's preliminary results presentation for the year ending August 31, 2023, scheduled for Thursday, November 9, 2023.

COVID-19 drove rapid digitalization within the retail and apparel sector

As ecommerce experienced booming growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers accelerated their digitalization strategies to keep up with demand. The cloud has become an important model for delivering and maintaining enterprise IT resources. Many retailers have developed in-house cloud divisions that will allow them to better exploit the cloud’s capabilities. However, for those players that do not have the necessary skills in-house, the cloud can pose some significant challenges.

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