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HMV recruits new FD to aid transformation

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Entertainment retailer HMV Group has appointed ITV Studios Finance Director (FD) David Wolffe as its new FD.

The business is currently undergoing a major transformation as it looks for new business avenues in the wake of mounting losses.

During the six months to October 23rd, like-for-like sales at HMV Group dropped 11.5 per cent, compared to a 2.1 per cent fall during the first half of last year.

Total sales slipped by six per cent to £749.5 million, while loss after tax leapt from £17.8 million in 2009 H1 to £30.5 million this year.

Wolffe, who was also Interim Managing Director at ITV Global Entertainment and who has also held senior financial roles at AOL Europe and BBC Worldwide, will join HMV on January 10th 2011 to aid the group’s transformation process.

Ownership of live venues, including the HMV Apollo in London’s Hammersmith and the HMV Picture House in Edinburgh, and the running of festivals are becoming increasingly important revenue streams for the business with high street sales dwindling in light of the increasing consumer trend to download music online or buy entertainment products at pure-play e-retailers.

HMV did launch an online download store this summer, hmvdigital.com, but analysts fear the move may be too late to take a significant share of the burgeoning download market.

Simon Fox, HMV CEO, commented: “I am delighted to welcome someone of David’s calibre and relevant experience to HMV Group as we continue the transformation of our business.

“I am confident that his financial background combined with a broader strategic expertise of changing media markets, of which HMV is a part, will be invaluable to us as we continue the transformation of our business.”

David Wolffe commented: “The markets in which HMV operates are clearly not without their challenges, but I have been deeply impressed with the energy and plans for change that are being driven by Simon Fox and his team.

“I am, therefore, very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead and eager to play a key role in enhancing value for all stakeholders in HMV.”

Published on Wednesday 29 December by Editorial Assistant

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