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WH Smith issues coronavirus profit warning

by LLB Editor
12th Mar 20 8:19 am

WH Smith has issued a sales and profit warning in the light of the impact of coronavirus on its business.

It said it had been monitoring the financial impact of Covid-19 since the outbreak began across both its travel division, which includes airport and railway station outlets, and its High Street business.

In Asia Pacific, which accounts for about 5% of its travel division’s revenue, it said it had seen a “significant impact on the business since February”.

And over the last two weeks, it had started to see a “material reduction” in passenger numbers at airports outside of Asia Pacific. In the UK which accounts for about 60% of the division’s revenue, the US, which accounts for about 25% of revenue and in Europe.

“For UK Travel, we expect revenue for the six months to be down approximately 15% on expectations which includes airports, our most affected channel, down 35% in March and April.

“On the same basis, including significant reductions in March and April, second half revenue in the US is expected to be approximately 20% lower than our expectations. The rest of our International business is also expected to be approximately 20% lower.”

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