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WH Smith sales hit by pandemic closures

by LLB Editor
20th Jan 21 10:35 am

The retailer WH Smith claimed to have a “good” Christmas despite reporting a 33 per cent year-on-year fall in sales in December.

Carl Cowling, chief executive, said: “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.”

The group’s travel business, which has shops in stations and airports, reported that sales in December were 36 per cent of 2019 levels. The high street business performed better with sales at 92 per cent of 2019 levels.

WH Smith claimed to have £340 million of cash and loan facilities as at the end of December 2020. The group added that it expects underlying monthly cash burn for the period from January to March this year to be around £15 million to £20 million a month assuming the current conditions continue.

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