Tough trading hits HMV

The firm this morning issued a full trading update for the first 21 weeks of the financial year from May 21st, ahead of today’s AGM. HMV blamed the effect of the London terrorist bombings on falling sales in major cities, and contrasted this with the strong performance of its international business.

In the UK and Ireland, total sales fell by 3.7 per cent for the year to date, with like-for-like sales down by 9.2 per cent. By comparison, like-for-like sales at HMV Canada were up by 7.7 per cent, and up by 6.6 per cent at HMV Asia Pacific.

“Conditions for High Street retailing in the UK have been tough during our financial year to date, and there are few signs of an improvement,” commented HMV chairman David Kapplar.

“In the meantime we are taking the right actions to reduce costs, and to ensure that we are well positioned for the important Christmas trading period, where we look forward to new CD albums from Robbie Williams and Franz Ferdinand, Star Wars Episode III and War of the Worlds on DVD, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console and new books from Zadie Smith, Alexander McCall Smith, Jamie Oliver and John Peel.

HMV plans to open 25 new stores during the full financial year.

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