The UK’s biggest newsagent WH Smith has reported a 4 per cent fall in like-for-like (LFL) sales for the 20 weeks to 18 January 2014.
Total sales in its travel division rose 2 per cent but a travel LFL sales fall of 1 per cent reflected “a recent improvement in sales trends, particularly in air.”
The firm said it saw improvements in gross margin and added that its store opening programme continues to progress well.
“Looking ahead, we continue to plan cautiously and manage the business tightly while investing in new opportunities for future growth. We are confident in making further progress in the year,” said Stephen Clarke, Group Chief Executive.
Clarke, who succeeded Kate Swann as Chief Executive in June, said costs would continue to be tightly-controlled.