HMV confident of weathering tough conditions

HMV Group, the music, games and books retailer, is hoping to profit from the collapse of Woolworths and its distribution arm but warns it does not offer long-term hope. Chief executive Simon Fox says HMV remains “resilient” in the face of tough conditions.

The group, which includes retail chains HMV and bookseller Waterstones, recorded sales of £754.5m for the 12 weeks to end of October in interim results posted today (December 11). It compares to £729 for the same period last year, and comes ahead of Christmas, its busiest trading period.

The music business posted a 1.6% rise in like-for-like sales, while the group’s book retail arm Waterstones posted a loss of 3.1%.

The retail group’s current boost follows the collapse of music retailer Woolworths and sister music distributor arm EUK.

HMV says its market share is “resilient” in the face of tough conditions on the high street, and predicts HMV UK will be “strengthened” in the medium term as the demise of EUK is felt by competitors who it supplied by it such as Tesco, Zavvi and Borders.

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