WHSmith has revealed a like-for-like sales slump of 6% in 10 weeks to September 1.

Total group sales fell 3%.

WHSmith said: “Whilst the current climate continues to be challenging, we remain a resilient business and are well positioned for continued profitable growth.”

In the bookseller and stationer’s travel arm, like-for-like sales were down 4%. Total sales were flat.

It said it continues to “identify further opportunities for growth both in the UK and internationally”.

At its high street business, like-for-likes tumbled 6%, while total sales declined 5%.

It said: “We continue to focus on delivering our strategy to rebalance the mix of our business towards our core categories.We have made further progress on gross margin and costs continue to be tightly managed.”

As part of the retailer’s share buyback programme, WHSmith has purchased about 300,000 shares at an average price of 485p.

The retailer said its financial position “is in line with market expectations”.