WH Smith suffered a pre-tax loss of £ 226 million last year – three times more than analysts feared – after Covid forced the 228-year-old high street name to close stores and lay off up to 1,500 employees
- The retailer took a deep loss after the company was forced to close hundreds of stores
- The travel arm of the business has also been hit due to pandemic travel restrictions
- The company's executive said the retailer has a "robust plan" to "come out stronger".
- WH Smith previously announced that up to 1,500 jobs were at stake in Covid
WH Smith, a high street retailer, has suffered a loss of £ 226 million in the past 12 months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Their pre-tax loss is three times what analysts feared after forecasters had previously described 2020 as the year of depreciation for WH Smith.
However, the company's 228-year-old executive director said he has a "robust plan" to help him "emerge stronger."
WH Smith said it lost £ 226 million before taxes in the twelve months ended August, an increase from a profit of £ 135 million a year earlier.
Sales fell 33% to just over £ 1 billion, WH Smith said Thursday.
The latest numbers are rather bad news for the high street that has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
WH Smith said it lost £ 226 million before taxes in the twelve months ended August, an increase from a profit of £ 135 million a year earlier. In the picture a shop in London in August
It also comes as the UK hit the milestone of 50,000 deaths from the virus yesterday, while health chiefs announced another 595 victims – the highest daily number since May.
Carl Cowling, CEO of WH Smith, said: "We have been severely affected by the pandemic since March."
Carl Cowling, CEO of WH Smith, announced their findings, saying the 228-year-old company has a "robust plan" to help them appear "strengthened".
He added: “While UK passenger numbers continue to be significantly impacted, our North American business, where 85% of passengers are domestic, is showing the first encouraging signs of recovery.
& # 39; We are also continuing to open new stores in the US and win major tenders at major US airports.
“We had seen a steady recovery on Hauptstrasse and were well positioned both in stores and online when we went to the second closure. We currently have 558 stores open.
"We have a solid plan for all of our businesses, focused on cost management and initiatives under our control that support us in the short term and position us well to get stronger as our markets recover."
The retailer, which currently has 558 high street stores and 243 travel stores open, including 206 post offices and 135 hospital stores, expects cash consumption to be around £ 20 million in November.
Investec analysts previously named 2020 as the year of depreciation for WH Smith (file photo)
WH Smith was founded more than 200 years ago as a news operator in London and expanded its portfolio of mainly high street stores in a variety of major airports to take advantage of the increasing passenger numbers.
But the pandemic decimated global demand for travel earlier this year, and the retailer that sells everything from books and sandwiches to headphones has suffered.
The company was forced to close hundreds of stores across the country as traffic plummeted on the high street.
The travel arm, which has fueled the group with rapid growth in recent years, also saw a decline in sales due to global travel restrictions.
The retailer previously announced that up to 1,500 jobs could be cut amid warnings from analysts at Investec who previously said they expected a loss of £ 73 million.
Around 300 of the 1,600 stores were opened after the initial lockdown – mostly in hospitals and with attached post offices – but this time around, the chain is expected to be better protected after the newsagents got the green light to stay open.
However, in August, the 228-year-old company announced that the dramatic drop in sales could result in around 11 percent of its workforce being laid off.
It was a grim announcement for an already hammered main street after that Hundreds of jobs have also been filled by M & Co, bringing the number of workers laid off as a result of the Covid crisis to over 100,000.
The economy showed signs of recovery in three months to September, but the recovery was ALREADY slowing before the second deadlock
The economy recovered 15.5 percent in the three months to September – but was already slowing before the last easing.
Official figures showed British plcs took a back seat in the summer as coronavirus cases fell and shops, bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen.
However, the recovery eased in September and was still 9.7 percent below the end of 2019 at the end of the reporting period.
The Bank of England last week forecast a 2 percent decline in the final quarter of the year as hammer activity slows down again. However, there were hopes of a faster recovery after good news about the prospects for a vaccine.
The record increase in the third quarter came after a record decline in the second quarter of 19.8 percent.
Rishi Sunak admitted that draconian restrictions on combating the surge in infections had slowed the recovery, but insisted that advances in mass testing and vaccines were "grounds for cautious optimism".
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