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WH Smith PLC - Trading Statement

RNS Number : 3890Q
WH Smith PLC
06 June 2018




6 June 2018


Good third quarter sales across the Group


Trading Update for the 13 Week Period to 2 June 2018



In the 13 week period from 1 March to 2 June 2018 total Group sales were up 4% with like-for-like sales up 1% compared to last year.


In our Travel business total sales were up 8% and like-for-like sales were up 3%. This good performance reflects our continued investment in our UK and international businesses and growth in passenger numbers. We saw good sales from our food offer, including a wider selection of healthy eating options. Gross margin increased in line with plan and our new store opening programme is on track in both the UK and internationally. We are on target to open between 15 and 20 units in the UK this year and are pleased with the recent opening of our latest standalone bookshop at London Bridge Station. This brings the total number of standalone bookshops now open to eleven. In our international business, we look forward to opening over the summer the eight units recently won in Madrid Airport, bringing the total number of units open internationally to 282, with a further ten new units due to open this year.


In our High Street business we continue with our profit focused strategy. Total sales were down 1% with like-for-like sales also down 1% in what is our quietest trading period. Gross margin continues to improve and cost savings have been delivered in line with plan. We continue to invest in our new store format trials and evaluate their performance. We have extended the trial to a further ten stores, as well as developing a trial for smaller stores.


Stephen Clarke, Group Chief Executive commented:


"We have delivered a good sales performance in the third quarter in both our Travel and High Street businesses. Whilst there is some uncertainty in the broader economic environment, WHSmith serves millions of customers each week and continues to grow both internationally and in the UK. We continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business to position us well for the future. We remain confident in the outcome for the full year."





WH Smith PLC

Mark Boyle                            Investor Relations                             020 7406 6320

Nicola Hillman                       Media Relations                                020 7406 6350



Fiona Micallef-Eynaud / Cerith Evans                                             020 7404 5959

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