WH Smith underlying sales fall 4 pct in last 10 weeks

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:20am EST

LONDON Nov 14 (Reuters) - British books, newspaper and stationery retailer WH Smith said underlying revenues fell 4 percent over the last 10 weeks, hit by a dip in sales at its high street stores.

The 221-year-old group said on Thursday like-for-like sales at its 615 high street stores fell 6 percent in the 10 weeks to Nov. 9 and that "the current climate continues to be uncertain."

Its travel division, made up of outlets at airports, railway stations, motorway service stations, hospitals and workplaces, saw like-for-like sales drop 2 percent during the period but that its store opening plan at home and abroad continued to make good progress.

WH Smith now has more than 140 shops outside the UK, either open or soon to open. Its travel business has over 670 outlets.

The firm said as of Nov. 13 it had purchased 0.65 million shares and returned 6 million pounds to shareholders.

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