News - South West

Sales down for WH Smith

Retailer WH Smith has reported a fall in its sales in the first ten weeks of its financial year.

The Swindon-based business has reported a 3 per cent fall in total group sales for the period from 1 September to 10 November as well as a 4 per cent drop in like-for-like sales, compared with the same period last year.

Sales in its travel arm were flat and like-for-like sales fell by 4 per cent but the business added its gross margin has increased in line with its plans. Its outlet opening plan also "continues to make good progress" in the UK and internationall.

High street total and like-for-like sales were down 5 per cent.

It added that its financial position is in line with expecations.

WH Smith said: "Whilst the current climate continues to be challenging, we remain a resilient business and are well positioned for continued profitable growth."

Last month, the business revealed chief executive Kate Swann was to step down as it posted a boost in its pre-tax profit for the year to 31 August 2012.

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