HMV back on track as company turns a profit for the first time in four years
High street retailer HMV has returned to profit for the first time since it was bought out of administration in 2019 as shoppers snap up a record amount of vinyl albums.
The retailer, which is now owned by Sunshine Records and Entertainment, has reported its highest profits since it was rescued from administration by Canadian businessman Doug Putman in 2019.
Sales at Sunshine, which also owns the smaller chain Fopp, jumped from £90m to £150m in the 12 months to May 2022, the latest accounts filed with Companies House show, helping it to return to a £1.9m profit, up from £240,000 in 2021, when Covid lockdowns kept many stores closed.
The positive performance comes as vinyl record sales surpassed CDs for the first time in 35 years in 2022 with more than 5.5 million units sold. Sales of vinyl LPs grew for the 15th consecutive year in 2022, hitting 5.5 million units – the highest since 1990.
The best-selling albums were Taylor Swift’s Midnights, which shifted over 89,000 vinyl copies, and Harry Styles’s Harry’s House, Arctic Monkeys’ The Car and Liam Gallagher’s C’mon You Know.
It comes as a result of Mr Putman’s refocusing of the once-troubled retailer. HMV fell into administration in 2013 and was bought by restructuring firm Hilco, only to collapse once again in 2019.
The Canadian businessmen, who also owns Toys’R’Us Canada, bought HMV in a deal worth a reported C$1.5m (£920,000) and managed to rescue its 100 stores, though later closed 27 of those, including its flagship Oxford Street location.
“Streaming algorithms mean it’s hard for new artists to get their voices heard, so we’re giving them the chance to get their albums in our stores, where music fans can discover them for themselves,” he added.
HMV has also expanded since Mr Putman acquired the firm, opening 10 new stores in 2022, including one in Dudley that is focused on stocking the latest vinyl.
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