September 21, 2012 12:37 pm

HMV suffers double-digit sales slide


The difficulty of the task facing Trevor Moore, the new chief executive of HMV, was underlined on Friday when the struggling CD and DVD retailer reported another double-digit sales decline.

However, Mr Moore said the group ought to be helped by a stronger pipeline of new releases in the run-up to Christmas, adding that the deterioration in trading performance had been less marked in recent weeks.

Mr Moore, formerly chief executive of camera retailer Jessops, was given the job at HMV in August, replacing Simon Fox, who has taken the helm of Trinity Mirror, the newspaper group.

HMV’s latest update covered the 20 weeks to September 15 and showed a 14.8 per cent year on year decline in group sales.

Like-for-like sales – a measure that excludes the impact of store closures – were down 11.6 per cent for its retail activities. This was slightly better than the 12.9 per cent fall posted for the preceding 17 weeks.

HMV said sales of tablet computers, headphones and other technology-related items continued to grow strongly but CD, DVD and computer game sales had been hit by a dearth of exciting new releases, which undermined its market share gains.

Kate Calvert, an analyst at Seymour Pierce, said there would be no let-up in the structural pressures on the business from online rivals and supermarkets.

At the close of trading in London on Friday, shares in HMV were trading 8.85 per cent lower at 2.78p. They have lost 49 per cent of their value over the past year.

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