WH Smith 1H Profit Rose on Strong Travel Growth; Confident for FY 2023

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WH Smith 1H Profit Rose on Strong Travel Growth;  Confident for FY 2023

By Joe Hoppe

WH Smith PLC said Thursday that pretax profit rose in the first half of fiscal 2023, driven by strong growth in its travel division, and said it is confident in the full-year outlook.

The UK retailer said pretax profit for the six-month period ended Feb. 28 was 45 million pounds ($56 million), up from GBP18 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose to GBP859 million from GBP608 million, driven by travel revenue, which rose 75% to GBP593 million.

The board declared an interim dividend of 8.1 pence a share, which it said reflects strong current performance and confidence in future progress.

The company said it expects its travel unit to represent more than 70% of group revenue and around 85% of profit from trading operations by the end of the fiscal year.

“Looking ahead, we are very well positioned to capitalize on the substantial growth drivers across our markets and we expect to make further good progress in the years ahead. Current trading is strong and we are ahead of expectations for the full year,” Chief Executive Carl Cowling said.

Write to Joe Hoppe at joseph.hoppe@wsj.com

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