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Poor results dog HMV

For the five weeks ending January 7th, the Group saw a 2.7 per cent decline in like-for-like sales, well down from the 6.4 per cent rise in the same period last year.

In UK and Ireland stores the decline was more pronounced at 5.5 per cent. Operating profits fell from £15.7 million in 2004 to £2.8 million.

However, the firm did single out the relatively good performance of its games offering, highlighting in particular the successes of DS and PSP, adding: “Despite the shortage of new consoles in the market, our own market share progress in games was strong, particularly in hardware.”

Strong performances in Canada and Asia, where the group experienced 6.9 per cent and 4.6 per cent like-for-like sales growth respectively, made up for the poor showing from the UK and Ireland arm.

Following the report, HMV announced changes to its board, including the retirement of CEO Alan Giles, who will leave the company in December.

“The competitive pressures faced by our UK business made trading very difficult during the autumn period,” admitted Giles. “However, the strength of our brands, store formats and operational skills helped to deliver a marked improvement at Christmas. Trading in the UK was in contrast to our international business, which continued to perform very strongly.

“Despite the improving trend at Christmas, the group retains a cautious view of the outlook and we remain very focused on maximising our performance over the remainder of the year.”

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