The company’s pre-tax loss fell to £24.9m for the 26 weeks to 24 October, compared with a loss of £27.5m in the same period last year. Overall sales rose by 5.6% to £797m. However, Waterstone’s sales fell 4.3%.
In a statement, the company says: “The exit of competitors from the UK entertainment market at the beginning of 2009 has created opportunities to capture sales in markets where these stores formerly overlapped with HMV.”
The retailer adds it is confident it will perform well in the current financial year, as the brand looks to expand beyond the simple high street store.
“Although our peak trading weeks lie ahead of us, we remain confident in the outlook for the group for the current financial year,” the statement says.
Speaking exclusively to Marketing Week last month, HMV group chief executive Simon Fox said HMV has found a way to turn around its marketing model based on the premise of ‘getting closer’ to performers.
In 2009, HMV has bought 20 Zavvi stores and the rights to 11 live music venues including the Hammersmith Apollo. It has also bought a 50% stake in online music retailer 7Digital. It recently agreed a partnership with Curzon Artificial Eye to trial in-store cinemas and a partnership with Seatwave to collect tickets in-store.
Yesterday, it confirmed it was mulling a bid to acquire the Mama Group outright.