WH Smith bolsters cash position with “better than anticipated” Christmas performance
High street retailer WH Smith has reported a strong performance over the Christmas period despite fluctuating COVID-19 restrictions.
The group saw a “good” performance in its high street business, with total revenue at 87 per cent of 2019 revenue for the 20 week period up to January 16.
The company, which houses Post Office facilities as well as operating as a newsagents and bookstore, also saw “record” performances from its online businesses funkypigeon.com, cultpens.com and whsmith.co.uk.
WH Smith group chief executive, Carl Cowling, commented: “Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on the WH Smith Group, however we are pleased with our performance over the Christmas period which was better than anticipated.
“In our High Street business, we worked hard to navigate our way through the evolving Covid restrictions as we approached the Christmas trading period. This positioned us well, resulting in a better than expected Christmas with sales in December at 92 per cent of 2019 levels.
“We generated cash during November and December and ended December with a stronger cash position than anticipated with liquidity of £90m, which is materially ahead of our original plan.
“We remain well placed to navigate our way through this ongoing period of uncertainty and benefit from the recovery of our key markets in due course.”
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