15 Dec 2012

Uncertain future seen for HMV

1:06 pm on 15 December 2012

HMV is in talks with its banks and says it faces an uncertain future due to continuing falling sales.

Sales for the six months to 27 October at the UK music, films and games retailer fell to £288.6 million, down 13.5%.

Shares fell 1.6p to 2.5p at the close of trading, a drop of 40%. At their peak in February 2005, HMV shares were priced at 272p.

HMV's pre-tax loss for the half-year was £37.3 million, compared with a loss of £48.1 million last year.

The BBC reports HMV has been struggling for a number of years, having been hit hard by a big growth in music and film downloads and by the rise in the sale of CDs and DVDs by supermarkets.

Sixty of its shops were closed in 2011 and its flagship venue in west London was sold in August for £25.7 million. HMV now has 238 outlets.

The BBC reports the company also sold three live music venues in London and Manchester in early December, plus three festivals to the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group for £7.3 million.

Chief executive Trevor Moore took over in September, following the departure of his predecessor Simon Fox, who left the company at the same time as the finance director.