Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: HMV in talks with banks amid disappointing pre-Christmas sales

09:55 13 December 2012

HMV

HMV's new boss today warned the entertainment group is in talks with banks over its future

HMV’s new boss today warned that the entertainment group is in talks with banks over its future following worse-than-expected trading in the run-up to Christmas.

shares

Chief executive Trevor Moore, who joined the group from camera chain Jessops, warned current market conditions suggest the group will not meet expectations for the year to April.

As a result, the terms of its bank loans are not likely to be met in January and April, placing the future of the 238-strong chain under threat.

HMV said like-for-like sales fell 10.2% in the 26 weeks to October 27 as its pre-tax loss narrowed to £36.1million, compared to £50.1million the previous year.

The dismal results come despite reports that HMV has received £40million in financial support from its suppliers in a bid to keep it going over the vital festive period.

HMV shares tumbled 39% in early trading after the results were published, giving the retailer a market value of just £10.1million.

Suppliers including Universal Music came to HMV’s rescue last January with a deal which helped the retailer shed some of its huge debt pile.

Both music publishers and film studios are keen to see the struggling business survive as internet retailers like Amazon chip away at their profit margins.

It is understood that HMV has secured improved access to music and film suppliers’ back catalogues and is buying stock on consignment, meaning it pays only for products if it sells them.

Its struggle has seen it sell off several parts of its business, including the Waterstones book retailer, to reduce its debt pile, while closing loss-making stores.

HMV recently offloaded its Hammersmith Apollo venue for £32 million, which enabled it to thrash out a new deal with lenders.

It said today that sales in the first half of the year were hit by the light release schedule, as suppliers held back on significant product launches due to the Olympics.

The group said it managed to boost its share of the declining market by ramping up promotional offers such as “2 for £15” on CDs or “5 for £30” on Blu-Ray discs.

At the end of the period, the business had a 38% share of the physical music market and a 27% share of the physical visual - DVD and Blu-Ray - market.

Mr Moore said closing more stores or placing the business into administration is not “part of our plan”.

He said: “It’s been a tough first half but we’ve reduced losses and in a difficult market we’ve continued to grow share.”

Back in May, when former boss Simon Fox was still in charge, the group said it was looking for pre-tax profits of at least £10 million for the 2012/13 financial year.

Freddie George, analyst at Seymour Pierce, said he was “unconvinced” that measures taken by the group were enough to “offset the structural pressures on its core business of music, vision and gaming”.

Maintaining his “sell” recommendation on the group’s shares, Mr George added: “We continue to see HMV as a value trap with potentially insurmountable structural issues.”

shares

0 comments

From left, Chris Chamberlain from HTK, Vicki Cole from Crafted and Helen Dodman from Ipswich Central, the three organisations behind the Destination Digital conference.

The company behind the delivery of the Ipswich town centre Business Improvement District project has teamed up with two local digital specialist to stage a conference on online marketing for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

French Connection has warned that it faces a substantial loss when it posts its annual results.

Fashion chain French Connection today warned that it now expects to make a big annual loss after seeing its recovery hopes dashed by a difficult spring trading period.

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport.

Manchester Airports Group, parent company of Stansted Airport, scored a four-star rating in Business in the Community’s 2015 CR Index.

Dominic Casserley, group chief executive of Willis.

Global risk advice and insurance broking firm Willis has launched a 550million euro (£393m) offer to take full control of the French broker Gras Savoye.

Sainsbury's is to cut 800 jobs as part of a restructuring of its store operations.

Sainsbury’s is to cut 800 jobs as it becomes the latest supermarket to restructure its operations in the face of tough trading conditions.

The CWind Sword offshore support vessel.

Colchester-based offshore service vessel manufacturer CTruk has won an order to supply two more of its MPC22 boats to sister company CWind.

Kay Allen, founder of Trading for Good, and Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society.

Ipswich Building Society has been presented with a Responsible Business Award at a Trading for Good East of England event held in its home town.

Savills has agreed a deal to acquire Smiths Gore.

Property services group Savills has agreed the acquisition of residential and rural agency chain Smiths Gore for an undisclosed sum.

Signage outside the Birds Eye factory in Lowestoft.

The company behind the Birds Eye frozen foods factory in Lowestoft has been sold by private equity firm Permira to a acquisition specialist based in the United States.

Tesco has reported a loss of £6.4bn for 2014.

Supermarket giant Tesco has slumped to a £6.4billion annual loss after taking a massive writedown on the value of its property portfolio.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages