WHSMITH said it remained confident of delivering growth despite reporting worsening sales across its high street stores.
The books and stationary retailers said total sales in the first 10 weeks of the year were down three per cent while like-for-like sales fell six per cent compared to last year.
This was driven by a six per cent like-for-like decline in sales across the chain’s 612 high street stores.
Sales in its travel division, which has stores in workplaces and hospitals and train stations were flat and like-for-like sales were down four per cent.
WHSmith said that while the current conditions remain challenging it continued to improve margins, cut down on costs and “was well positioned for continued profitable growth”.