High street music retailer HMV has seen sales rise 4.3% in the 18 months to August 30. Its results were buoyed by its decision to tap into the market for video games, but sales at its chain of Waterstone’s bookstores were weak.
The retailer says sales at its UK and Ireland HMV outlets increased on a like-for-like basis following the launch of the company’s three-year recovery plan last year, which saw it move away from its reliance on traditional CDs. International sales increased by 2.9%.
Sales at Waterstone’s have fallen by 1.7% in the same period, excluding the impact of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last summer, due to a “weaker book market”.
Chief executive Simon Fox says the group has made a “solid start” to the financial year and that strategic initiatives are “on track”. He says: “In what is, undoubtedly, a tough consumer environment, the start made by the group to the new financial year means that our plans are in line with the board’s expectations.”
HMV is opening a number of “next generation” stores, with refits planned for a number of its existing outlets. It is also set to launch an online music digital download and streaming offer this month, and has plans for a loyalty card and pre-played games offer.