HMV implies it could sell Waterstone’s

HMV would consider selling off Waterstone’s if it was in the book chain’s interest, according to reports.

Following ” disappointing” results reported last week, it is the first time that Simon Fox, chief executive of HMV, has suggested that splitting up the HMV Group would be an option.

Waterstone’s like for like sales fell 6.2% and profit slumped by more than 70% to £2.8m.

Fox told Financial Mail that: ’If anyone came along with a large bag of money for any part of the business, we would take that very seriously. But that is not the case.”

However, he said that he is “optimistic” about the new strategy put in place to turnaround the Waterstone’s chain, adding that: ’It would be a tragedy if we didn’t have a High Street book retailer and we are the last one to succeed.”

He revealed that the Group is seeking more sites to opened combined HMV and Waterstone’s stores following the success of a trial in a Newcastle location.

HM has diversified from a music retailer into an entertainment brand through its acquisition of the live entertainment group Mama and is positioning itself for digital growth through its joint venture with download site 7Digital.

The HMV Group reported a 17.7% rise in pre-tax profit to £74.2m and a 3.1% rise in total sales in its results. However like for like sales at HMV UK stores fell 2.4%.

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