WH Smith has reported an 8% increase in half-year pre-tax profit to £64m on sales up 2% at £734m.

Like-for-like sales for the six months to 29 February fell 2% as the retailer rebalanced the mix of its high street business to core categories.

News and impulse sales in its high street business fell 2% during the period, but snacking and confectionery delivered a strong performance, driven by better use of space, new ranges and promotions, WH Smith said.

“The economic environment remains uncertain and, while we continue to be cautious, we are confident in the outcome for the full-year,” added CEO Kate Swann.