WHSmith group sales declined 2% with like-for-likes dropping 4% in the 21 weeks to January 23.

In its high street division, like-for-likes in the most recent 11 week period fell 5%, while falling 4% in the 21 week period.

In its travel arm, total sales climbed 2%, while like-for-likes dropped 2% in the 21 week period. Further improvements were made in gross margin.

WHSmith group chief executive Kate Swann said: “The Group delivered a good performance during the period. We made further progress in our High Street business and our Travel business continues to perform well, despite soft passenger numbers at airports.

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

Shore Capital analyst Kate Calvert said: “Management has again delivered a performance very much in-line with its stated strategy.

“We suspect this update is better than the market was expecting after HMV’s much weaker trading performance.”