WH Smith reports fall in high street sales

WH Smith has reported a 2 per cent fall in high street like-for-like sales in the 20 weeks to January 19, but saw a 3 per cent rise in comparable sales across its larger travel division.

WH Smith branch in London. Pic: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
WH Smith branch in London. Pic: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Overall group like-for-like sales remained flat in the 20-week period.

Stephen Clarke, group chief executive of WH Smith, said: “The group has delivered a strong trading performance with total sales up 6% and like-for-like sales flat.

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“Our travel business continued to grow across all channels. This was driven by our ongoing investment in the business, including the roll-out of our new concept stores at Heathrow and growth in air passenger numbers.”

He said: “High street delivered a good performance, particularly in stationery, driven by good growth in Christmas cards, wrap, diaries and fashion stationery.”

“Looking ahead, whilst there is existing uncertainty in the broader economic environment, the group is well-positioned for the year ahead and beyond,” he added.