Salem Radio Network News Monday, July 26, 2021

Business

UK’s WH Smith says expects small improvement in 2021 performance

(Reuters) -UK’s WH Smith said on Thursday it expects a small improvement to its performance in the current financial year, following stronger-than-anticipated performance in North America.

The FTSE-250 listed-company said it signed deals for 18 tech accessory stores in a number of UK airports, including Heathrow and Stansted, which it expects will deliver about 60 million pounds in annual sales in a fully recovered travel environment. [PnNDL9DrQ9L]

The company added that it would spend about 15 million pounds on the new stores in fiscal 2022, and they would trade under the InMotion brand it uses in North America.

WH Smith said on Thursday it continued to be impacted by the slowdown in its travel business, but was seeing an “encouraging recovery” in North America, where it saw June sales recover to about 88% of 2019 levels.

The retailer of books, accessories and tech accessories at train stations, airports and workplace kiosks has been hit hard by the pandemic due to travel curbs and work-from-home mandates.

In April, the two century old company warned of the possible risk of breaching its covenant tests in 2022 after posting a first-half loss.

The company said on Thursday its liquidity position was strong and it will continue to focus on reducing cashburn, which amounted to about 2 million pounds per month over the March to June period.

WH Smith shares were up 0.8% at 16.62 pounds in morning trading.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Shounak Dasgupta)

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