WH Smith has welcomed a strong performance in the first half of the year, with revenues rising by 41% to \u00a3859m, in part boosted by strong momentum in its Travel division, where revenues were up by 75% against the prior year.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe group\u2019s global Travel business benefited from a \u201csignificant\u201d recovery in passenger numbers over the period, as well as strong average transaction value growth, successful category expansion and further space growth.\r\n\r\nAlongside strong revenue growth, the group\u2019s profit-before-tax also hit \u00a345m, up from \u00a314m the prior year. Total Travel profit hit \u00a347m, up from \u00a310m in FY22, though total High Street profit was \u00a324m, down from \u00a326m the prior year.\r\n\r\nOver the period, the group continued to expand in North America, with 29 new stores opened in the market. At the same time, it grew its new store pipeline here with \u201csignificant\u201d tender wins. Overall, it has won a further 28 stores so far this year, including 11 in Canada across Calgary and Edmonton airports. In the current financial year, it expects this division to generate over \u00a350m in profit, making it the second largest division in the company.\r\n\r\nCEO Carl Cowling said: "We have seen a strong performance in the first half of the year further strengthening our confidence in the prospects of our global travel business. We expect Travel to represent over 70% of group revenue and around 85% of group profit from trading operations by the end of this financial year.\r\n\r\n"Travel UK, our largest division, has delivered a strong first half performance and has excellent growth prospects. Revenues are 19% ahead of 2019 levels despite passenger numbers being considerably below 2019 levels. This performance has been driven by our category expansion, focus on average transaction value, the success of InMotion and our travel essentials one-stop-shop format.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe added: "I am increasingly excited by the opportunity in our Rest of the World division. Our strategy of establishing a presence in multiple countries as a base for significant growth is demonstrated well by the growth in our store estates in Spain, Germany and Australia.\r\n\r\n"Looking ahead, we are very well positioned to capitalise on the substantial growth drivers across our markets and we expect to make further good progress in the years ahead. Current trading is strong and we are ahead of expectations for the full year."