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HMV posts half year loss

By | Published on Friday 12 December 2008


HMV have posted a pre-tax loss of £27.5 million in the six months up to the end of October, which is pretty much the same as in the same period last year, though it disappointed City types anyway resulting in a 10p fall in the retailer’s share price.

The retailer, which has been struggling to make things work in a world where an ever increasing number of people buy CDs and DVDs at the supermarket or off the internet, said disappointing figures for the first half of this financial year were a lot to do with the credit crunch and all that jazz having a negative impact on high street spending.

A company statement said “the markets in which we operate have weakened in line with general consumer confidence”, while CEO Simon Fox put a positive spin on things by pointing out the retailer’s peak sales period – Christmas – comes in the second half of the financial year. Which may or may not help – given that Woolworths will soon be all but giving away all their stock, the run up to Christmas is going to be more tough than ever for HMV and their like.

That said, HMV reckon ultimately the collapse of Woolworths will go in their favour, reducing competition in the high street CD/DVD market. The retailer’s statement added: “Over the past two weeks there have been unprecedented changes to the competitive landscape of the entertainment sector, which we believe will strengthen HMV UK for the medium term”. The retailer adds that it has favourable bank funding in place until 2011, so is well equipped to capitalise on new opportunities in the music retail space.

On an international level HMV saw sales increases in its Hong Kong, Singapore and Canadian stores, the latter performing quite well, though the Asian stores made a loss overall meaning HMV International posted at £800K loss for the half year.