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Trading statements

WH Smith lifts group revenue in 21 weeks to Jan. 21

25 January 2017 07:22

WH Smith has hiked its total group revenue in the 21 weeks to Jan. 21 by 2%, with a like-for-like rise of 1%.

It noted that, in total sales, travel revenue was up 10%, and on a LFL basis was up 5%. However, High Street total sales were down 4%, and down 3% LFL.

The highly cash-generative business described the 2% gain in total group revenue as a strong performance.

"In Travel, we have delivered good sales growth across all our key channels in the period," said CEO Stephen Clarke in a statement.

"This was driven by ongoing investment in the business and continued growth in passenger numbers - particularly in our airport stores over the Christmas holiday period.

"In High Street, we saw another good performance with sales in line with expectations driven by our new seasonal stationery ranges and spoof humour books."

As a result of the performance in Travel, Clarke said, group profit growth for the year was expected to be slightly ahead of plan. Looking ahead, he added that in 2017 there was some uncertainty in the broader economic environment.

Nevertheless, Clarke said, the company remained "confident that the Group is well positioned for the year ahead as we continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in new opportunities."

The group also announced today that it had agreed a new five-year revolving credit working capital facility of £140m, which would expire in December 2021.

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Related Company: SMWH

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