By Ben Parfitt
HMV has announced an increase in profits for its full year financial results, while a small drop in like-for-like sales led the retailer to warn of difficult times ahead.
In the seven weeks ending June 18th, like-for-like sales fell by one per cent against strong trading in the same period the year before. Meanwhile, profit for the year ending April 30th was up by 9.9 per cent.
“The UK trading environment became more difficult during the year and the outlook for the consumer remains uncertain,” commented CEO Alan Giles. “However, interest in our product categories remains buoyant, with an improving DVD release schedule, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince attracting significant advance orders and the new hardware consoles poised to ignite the market for games software.”
Nonetheless, overall results for the company were good. Sales for the year totalled £1,885.6m, up 3.8 per cent and including a like-for-like sales growth of 1.1 per cent. Profit before tax came to £136.2m. Net borrowing came to £17.3m, a decrease of £40.5m.
Throughout the year HMV successfully opened a further 42 stores, eight of which were in the UK and Ireland with a further eight in Japan, three in Canada, one in Australia and an additional seven in Waterstone’s stores.
The report also announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to develop software for HMV’s new digital downloading service. HMV Digital will launch on September 5th.
In a separate announcement, the company confirmed that chief operating office and acting managing director of Waterstone’s Brian McLaughlin will be retiring at the end of the year.