Christmas sales down at WHSmith

23 January 2007 — London (UK): WHSmith says that profitability is continuing to improve despite an 8 percent fall in same-store sales over the Christmas trading period.

The retailer claims that the lower sales were offset by better cost controls and higher profit margins.

 

Group Executive, Kate Swann, said: "In a competitive period on the High Street, we continued to deliver our strategy to improve profitability. We increased the pace at which we are rebalancing the mix of our business towards our core categories."

 

The company said that gross margin from the company’s High Street stores improved by three percentage points in the 20 week period to 20 January, attributable to better buying, low-cost sourcing and improved pricing.