Retailer WH Smith expects higher profit on strong summer travel


May 31 (Reuters) – WH Smith (SMWH.L) on Wednesday forecast higher full-year profit as the British retailer bet on strong travel demand during the summer after it witnessed robust trading across its global travel business.

Leisure and business travel are back to pre-pandemic levels, boosting sales at stores in transit locations. Still, high costs in an uncertain economic environment continue to loom for the sector.

“Our expectations for the full financial year have modestly improved,” the company said in a statement, but did not provide an annual outlook range.

Analysts on average expect full-year profit before tax to be at 143 million pounds ($180.48 million), according to a company-compiled consensus.

The company, which has stores in travel hubs and sells everything from books and sandwiches to Bluetooth headphones, said its total group revenue for the 13-week period ended May 27 was up 23% year-on-year.

UK travel segment saw its revenue up 24% in the reported period, which had key holidays such as the Easter weekend, May bank holidays and the coronation.

WH Smith’s high street division revenue was up 2%.

($1 = 0.7923 pounds)

Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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