WH Smith's like-for-like high street sales fell 4% for the 21 weeks to 23 January, and down 5% for the 11 weeks to the same date.

WH Smith said it reflected the company's strategy to rebalance the mix of the business towards its core categories. Gross margin improved year on year. And excluding entertainment, LFL sales for the 11 and 21 weeks were down just 1%.

"The Group delivered a good performance. We made further progress in our high street business and our travel business continues to perform well, despite soft passenger numbers at airports, said group chief executive Kate Swann.

"Although we remain cautious about consumer spending, we have planned accordingly and are confident in the outcome for the full year."

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WHSmith boss Swann hails Woolies effect (24 April 2009)
WH Smith hit by festive sales dip (26 January 2009)