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WH Smith says sales up 2% in 15 weeks to June 10

14 June 2017 07:12

WH Smith said in the 15-week period from 1 March to 10 June 2017 total group sales were up 2%, with like-for-like sales flat. Within this, the Travel business's total and LFL sales were up, while those for the High Street business were down.

It said that in its Travel business total sales were up 8% (of which 2% relates to forex benefits from the growing international business) and like-for-like sales were up 5%.

"This sales performance reflects our ongoing focus on customer service, execution, space and category management as well as the continued increase in passenger numbers," the company said.

Gross margin rose in line with plan. WH Smith's new store opening programme was progressing well both in the UK and internationally.

"We are on target to open 15 units in the UK this year and have won further units internationally including 6 units in Rome which will open in July," the company said in its trading update.

In WH Smith's High Street business, it continued with its profit-focused strategy, with sales in the period in line with expectations.

Total sales were down 4% with like-for-like sales also down 4%. Gross margin improvement and cost savings were delivered in line with plan.

"Our Post Office opening programme is on track and we have now relocated 58 of the 61 Post Offices that we announced in April 2016. This brings the total number of Post Offices now open within our High Street stores to 165."

WH Smith said that whilst there remained some uncertainty with regard to the broader economic environment, it continued to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business to position it well for the future.

"We remain confident in the outcome for the full year."

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Related Company: SMWH

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