WH Smith has said its profit performance was “good” in the 20 weeks to 20 January, but sales continue to slide at the high street retailer.

It reported a 4% fall in total sales during the period, and a 5% fall in like-for-like sales.

In its travel stores business, like-for-likes dipped 4%. They were 5% down in its high street stores business.

However, the retailer said it remained “highly cash generative with a strong balance sheet”.

“During the period we saw a good profit performance across the group,” added CEO Kate Swann. “Margin was well managed and costs were tightly controlled throughout the business.

“Looking ahead, we expect the trading environment to remain challenging however, we are a resilient business with a consistent record of both profit growth and cash generation and are confident in making further progress in the year.”