WH Smith sales better than hoped

WH Smith, the British newspaper, books and stationery retailer, reported a better than expected four per cent fall in underlying third quarter sales yesterday and said it was confident of its full-year prospects.<br /><br />The group, which trades from 557 high street stores across the UK, said sales at stores in its town centre businesses open more than a year fell five per cent over the 13 weeks to May 30.<br /><br />In the travel business &ndash; outlets at airports, train stations, hospitals and motorway service areas &ndash; like-for-like sales were down two per cent.<br /><br />&ldquo;The economic environment remains uncertain and, whilst we continue to be cautious about consumer spending, we are confident in the outcome for the full-year,&rdquo; the company said.