WHSmith has maintained its guidance and said it is “well positioned” ahead of the peak summer trading period as it continues to take steps towards being a “one-stop shop” for travel essentials.

WHSmith London Gatwick Airport store exterior

Source: Eamonn Conway

WHSmith said revenue in its travel division was up 9% for the 13 weeks to June 1, 2024, with like-for-like sales up 8%.

Revenues across its airport, hospital and rail divisions were up 8%, 14% and 8% respectively.

Overall group revenue rose 5% with like-for-like sales also up by 4% during the period.

In North America, revenues rose 5% year on year while like-for-like sales were flat as the retailer continued to bolster the regional business by “rebalancing space” and increasing its ranges in-store.

With an eye to the rest of the world, WHSmith said this division is “performing well” with revenue up 16%.

This is in contrast to its high street business, which saw revenue dip 4%.

During the period, WHSmith embarked on a new phase of Toys R Us openings in its UK stores, with five stores open and an additional 25 shop-in-shops planned.

In terms of outlook, the retailer said it is “well positioned” ahead of the peak summer trading period.

WHSmith said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange: “Since our announcement on April 25, 2024, our positive expectations for the full financial year are unchanged.

“Good trading momentum continues across all three travel divisions and we are in a strong position to capitalise on substantial growth opportunities across our markets.”