HMV reports sales hike

Retailer HMV has turned around its fortunes to report a group-wide overhaul with like-for-like sales up by 7.3%.

The group, which also owns Waterstone’s book chain, said its turnaround plan was ahead of schedule as same-store sales growth at its UK and Ireland HMV stores was even further ahead at 11.4%. Total group sales in the 12 months to April 28 were up 10.3% on the year before, with a 4.7% improvement for Waterstone’s.

The boost in its sales follows chief executive Simon Fox revival plans announced at the start of last year. The programmes included store revamps, a focus on big-selling games and consoles and a digital music and online push.

In a trading update, the management said it was confident that underlying pre-tax profits for the year would be towards the upper end of expectations.

In the previous year, the group – which operates around 700 stores in the UK and Ireland – saw like-for-like sales dip 3.5% in the face of tough high street and digital competition.

For the 16 weeks to April 26 the group’s total sales increased 11.9% and were up 10.1% on a like-for-like basis.

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