WH Smith has released its interim results covering the Christmas period, revealing that group sales were down 2% like-for-like.
As usual, WH Smith Travel performed better than its High Street stores, with like-for-like sales up 2% and total sales up 7%, with particular improvements at large airports.
The retailer saw a like-for-like sales drop of 5% in its High Street arm, however, along with a total sales decline of 5%, but the company said these sales decreases were “in line with our plan.”
The figures relate to the 20-week period to 17th January 2015.
Stephen Clarke, group c.e.o, said: "The group delivered another good profit performance. Travel continues to benefit from the ongoing improvement in passenger numbers and the impact of our latest initiatives. In High Street, our strategy to create value through gross margin improvements and cost efficiencies continues to deliver profitable growth.”
He added: "It is important to recognise that this performance would not be possible without the hard work of all our colleagues, particularly those in our stores at this time of year. Looking forward, we remain focused on profitable growth, cash generation and investment in new opportunities and are confident of making further progress."
The company said its strategy in its High Street business was to create value through gross margin improvements and added that cost efficiencies continue to deliver profitable growth.
In Travel, WH Smith said gross margin continued to grow driven by category mix management.
“We continue to invest in growing the business by opening stores in the UK and internationally,” WHS said.