WHSmith has posted a 28% jump in its full-year revenue thanks to a boom in its travel division.

A strong post-pandemic return to the summer holiday season boosted revenue in the retailer’s travel division up by 42%, with like-for-like sales up 27%.

Overall group revenue grew 28%, with like-for-like sales up 18% for the year.

In the UK, travel revenues grew 36% and like-for-like sales increased 30%, driven by “enhanced ranges” in food and the “broadening of categories” like health and beauty and technology. 

This is in contrast to the group’s high street division, where revenue dropped 1%, like-for-like sales grew 1% and it remains set on its cost-cutting agenda. 

In a statement to markets this morning the retailer said: “Our high street business has performed well and in line with expectations. Our strategy remains unchanged as we continue to focus on cost efficiencies and the return on space.”

The retailer also noted the strong performance in its hospital and rail channels, the latter it said had remained resilient despite ongoing strikes.

During the year, WHSmith opened 20 new stores, eight of which were in hospitals, and it expects to open 15 more in the UK within the next financial year.

In North America, it opened 43 stores, including four at San Diego Airport, while elsewhere in the world it added 30 new stores, including shops in airports in Madrid and Budapest.

The retailer has plans to add a further 40 stores in North America and another 25 across the rest of the world.

It said in a statement: “Including our UK travel business, we therefore anticipate opening over 80 new stores across all our travel businesses in the financial year ending August 2024, demonstrating the growth prospects in travel across all our geographical markets.”