Further losses at HMV Group
Total sales were £749.5m (2009: £797.0m), down 6.0%. Like for like sales down 11.5% (2009: 2.1%). HMV UK & Ireland total sales were down 15.3%, including like for like sales down 16.1%.
Waterstone's total sales were down 2.4% and like for like sales down 3.2%. Seasonal loss before tax was £41.3m (2009: loss of £24.9m).There was loss after tax of £30.5m (2009: loss of £17.8m).
The Group has also previously announced the disposal of HMV store at 360 Oxford Street for £13.75m.
The Group is encouraged by their strategy of increasing the product mix, with a particular focus on technology, where the opportunity for range expansion in high-growth products is greatest. New products increased to 12% of sales (2009: 9%). The company also says that there was good progress on turnaround at Waterstone's, including refocusing on range and local offer, and driving sales of related products.
HMV says that the outcome of the full financial year will be largely determined by the next four weeks of the key Christmas trading period, which together with the final four months of their financial year, accounts for 60% of our full year sales. Despite more encouraging trading at the beginning of the second half, the start to the Christmas trading period has been undermined by the severe weather of the last two weeks, which has significantly affected consumer footfall and consequently makes trading patterns hard to determine at this stage.
Commenting, Chief Executive Simon Fox said,"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. 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."
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