WHSmith posted growth in sales in the 20 weeks to January 26, 2024, as it achieved its “strongest ever position as a global travel retailer”.

WHSmith Birmingham Airport souvenirs

WHSmith recently opened its largets UK travel store at Birmingham airport

WHSmith reported an 8% increase in total group sales, while like-for-like sales improved 5% in the 20 weeks to January 26. 

Sales in its travel division grew 16% on a constant currency basis and 10% on a like-for-like basis compared to the same period the previous year.

Like-for-like sales in the group’s high street and online business saw a decline of 3%, which the retailer said was in line with its expectations.

In-store like-for-like sales were down 3% while for the four weeks to December 30, sales improved 1%.

Chief executive Carl Cowling: “I am pleased with the start to the financial year. Our travel business is growing strongly across all our divisions and we have seen a notably strong performance in the UK, our largest division, with total revenue up 15% and like-for-like revenue up 14%.

“During the period, we successfully opened our largest UK travel store at Birmingham airport – a one-stop-shop for travel essentials – and we have received very positive feedback from both the landlord and customers.

“We continue to make excellent progress in North America and I am particularly excited by the substantial growth opportunities that exist in this market. We are on track to open over 50 new stores in North America this financial year.

“In total, we are on track to open over 110 stores this financial year.

“The group is trading well and is in its strongest ever position as a global travel retailer. We are confident of another year of significant growth in 2024.”