Wednesday 28 August 2019 7:57 am

WH Smith boosted by ‘strong’ performance of travel stores

WH Smith said today it is on track to meet full-year expectations, helped by a strong performance in its travel stores.

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The stationer and convenience store retailer said in a trading update that its travel business – stores at stations, airports, hospitals, and service stations – had performed “strongly”, with good sales across all channels.

Stores in hospitals are now the second largest channel in WH Smith’s UK travel business.

The retailer’s international travel business is continuing to grow – with 428 stores open outside the UK.

This includes In Motion, a US airport chain that the group acquired in a £155m deal late last year, doubling its travel business.

“We see good scope to grow In Motion both in the US and internationally,” it said.

WH Smith said that its high street business had continued to perform in line with expectations. Cost savings and margin improvements had been delivered in line with its “profit focused strategy”, it added.

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Stephen Clarke, who has been WH Smith’s chief executive for six years, is due to step down in October. He will be replaced by Carl Cowling, who currently leads the retailer’s high street arm.