Book sales down 6% at WHS

Book sales at WH Smith have dropped 6% like-for-like across the high street and travel divisions in the last five months.

Total sales were down 4% with like-for-like sales down 5% for the 20 weeks to 20th January 2013. Travel performed slightly better than the high street, with total sales flat and like-for-likes down 4%, whereas on the high street, both total and like-for-like sales were down by 5%.

Announcing its latest financial results today (23rd January), WHS said: “In Travel… our new store development programme continues to progress well and we have identified further opportunities for growth both in the UK and internationally.”

Book sales at the retailer dipped 6% like-for-like in travel and high street, while stationery sales were down 2% and news and impulse sales were down 4% like-for-like, according to retail analyst Nick Bubb.

Group chief executive Kate Swann said: "During the period we saw a good profit performance across the group. Margin was well managed and costs were tightly controlled throughout the business. Looking ahead, we expect the trading environment to remain challenging however we are a resilient business with a consistent record of both profit growth and cash generation, and are confident in making further progress in the year."