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Games market underperforms for HMV

Sales of games down 12% overall, but second hand titles up 45%

The videogame market has been singled out as one of the key entertainment sectors that has underperformed for retailer HMV.

Overall sales for the business in the UK and Ireland were down by 15.3 per cent for the 26 weeks ended October 23, and total group sales down 6 per cent to £749.5 million. The company recorded a pre-tax loss £41.3 million.

"The changes that we have made to our business have been against the backdrop of difficult entertainment markets, particularly games, which underperformed against our expectations," said the company in a statement.

"The most challenging market in the period was games, which declined by 12 per cent in addition to a 30 per cent fall in the same period last year. However, HMV held share and continued to rapidly develop its pre-played games offer, with sales up 45 per cent in the period."

Although games haven't met expectations, HMV said it expected Kinect, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and FIFA 11 to perform well over the Christmas period.

While games were down, new technology has been a growth area for the entertainment retailer, particularly Apple's iPad.

"The increased seasonal loss reflects the tough trading conditions in HMV UK, where good progress in growing new product categories was not sufficient to offset weak entertainment markets," added CEO Simon Fox.

Yesterday GAME released interim results that showed a similar pattern of declining overall sales, despite growth in the second hand market.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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