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HMV sales climb 5.1 per cent

UK retailer expects pre-tax profit of up to GBP 63.7 million; net debt to be GBP 10 million

UK movies, music and videogames retailer HMV has reported a total sales growth of 5.1 per cent for the financial year ended April 25, with a like-for-like sales growth of 1 per cent.

In the final 16 weeks of the financial year, HMV UK & Ireland reported that total sales were up 11.7 per cent, as were like-for-like sales by 4.3 per cent.

"Despite challenging conditions, the Group expects profits this year to be towards the upper end of market expectations," commented chief executive Simon Fox.

"This has been driven by strong trading in HMV UK & Ireland, which continues to benefit from initiatives to transform the business, and from maximising the opportunities arising from competitors exiting the market."

Throughout the latter half of the financial year, HMV picked up 23 former Zavvi stores as the retailer slid into administration. However, the HMV Group saw total sales in its Waterstone's book stores fall 3.8 per cent.

"As expected, the book market remained weak during our final quarter and we are focusing on successfully completing the migration to the Waterstone's book hub to help to improve the financial performance in this business," Fox added.

"We still have much to do, but I remain confident that the Group's transformation plan remains on track to increase efficiency, revitalise our core business and establish new channels to market."

Pre-tax profit before exceptional items - business charges that must be included in the balance sheet - is expected to be in the range of GBP 50.3-63.7 million, while the company's net debt is predicted to be GBP 10 million.

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