Entertainment retailer HMV Group has posted an increase in sales decline and an almost doubling of loss for its first half results.
Like-for-like (LFL) sales fell 11.5 per cent in the 26 weeks to October 23rd, compared to a 2.1 per cent fall during the same period last year, whilst total sales dropped six per cent to £749.5 million.
Loss after tax jumped from £17.8 million in H1 last year to £30.5 million in 2010 and underlying debt stands at £151.6 million, up from £88.1 million in 2009.
Simon Fox, HMV CEO, commented: “The increased seasonal loss reflects the tough trading conditions in HMV UK, where good progress in growing new product categories was not sufficient to offset weak entertainment markets.”
HMV UK & Ireland experienced the biggest retraction in trade with total sales and LFL sales both declining by double digits, 15.3 per cent and 16.1 per cent respectively.
The group’s change in focus from high street retailing into live events was exemplified in H1 by the sale of an HMV store of Oxford Street and the opening of live venue HMV Institute in Birmingham.
Waterstone’s total sales reduced 2.4 per cent and LFL sales dropped 3.2 per cent in the half after major restructuring and management changes.
H2 will see the opening of a new venue in Manchester called The Ritz, whilst Waterstone’s and HMV stores will be hoping that the Christmas period, which typically accounts for 60 per cent of full-year sales, picks up after a slow start.
Fox continued: “In Waterstone’s, the recovery plan is on track, and in all businesses we are very well prepared for the important weeks ahead, with a strong line-up of offers across all product categories and a focus on delivering high quality service both in-store and online.”