W H Smith Travel expands

<p>W H Smith is expanding its travel division, with the acquisition of UNS Hospitals and a new franchise agreement with RoadChef. </p><p>The company bought UNS, which trades as United News and has 72 retail units and eight Caffe Nuovo coffee shops in 62 hospitals in the UK, for a cash consideration of &pound;19m. The transaction will be funded from existing cash resources and available bank facilities. W H Smith currently has eight units trading in seven hospitals and expects exceptional integration costs to be around &pound;1m in the current financial year.</p><p>W H Smith has also entered a franchise agreement with RoadChef to open travel units in all 29 RoadChef motorway service areas, following a successful trial at the Watford Gap RoadChef .</p><p>Kate Swann, W H Smith group chief executive, said: &quot;The acquisition of UNS Hospitals creates further growth opportunities for our Travel business. The hospital channel is under developed and the combination of the experienced UNS management team and the W H Smith brand and offer will bring benefits for customers.&quot;</p><p>She added: &quot;We look forward to working with RoadChef to extend our motorway service area offer, bringing WHSmith products and services direct to the motorist.&quot;</p>