WH Smith noted that total like-for-likes in the 14 weeks to 4 June were flat, yet it remains confident for the full year.
Total group sales were up a mere 2% and and up 3% in like-for-likes, in line with predictions. Total sales in its travel business grew by 9%. The high street retailer said its increased travel performance was due to its continuous investment in the UK an improvements in passenger numbers.
High street operations recorded sales in line with expectations. Total sales fell by 4% an like-for-likes were down 3%.
“We made further progress actively managing our space to best meet the changing needs of our customers and landlords. Gross margin increased in line with plan. Our new store opening programme is progressing well in both the UK and internationally, where we continue to win additional new units,” WH Smith said.
“We generate high levels of cash from our operations. As of 7 June 2016, we have purchased 1.7m shares and returned to shareholders £29m of the up to £50m share buyback announced in October 2015.”
“Looking ahead we continue to focus on profitable growth, cash generation and investing in the business to position us well for the future. We remain confident in the outcome for the full year.”