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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK
Supermarket and web hit Ottakar's
Ottakar's book store
Ottakar's says it has been "distracted" by takeover activity
Increasing competition from online retailers and supermarkets have hit results at bookstore chain Ottakar's.

The company reported a pre-tax loss of 4.6m ($8m) in 2005 after a profit of 6.9m in 2004.

Ottakar's was the subject of a takeover bid from Waterstone's owner HMV last year, which valued the firm at 96.4m.

However, the bid is currently under investigation by the Competition Commission, after complaints to the Office of Fair Trading about a merger.

'Difficult year'

Ottakar's said "unprecedented price competition" from rivals had come at the same time as "intense corporate activity", with a management buy-out plan trumped by the higher offer from HMV.

"The distraction of the corporate activity and the slowdown in second half sales have combined to make 2005 a difficult year for Ottakar's," said chairman Philip Dunne.

The firm said the reaction to the HMV bid, which included concern from independent book shops, had "visibly demonstrated the high esteem" in which the company was held.

Those against the move have argued that a merged HMV and Ottakar's would be too strong, something HMV denies.




SEE ALSO:
HMV bid for Ottakar's gets review
06 Dec 05 |  Business
Ottakar's backs HMV takeover bid
13 Sep 05 |  Business
Bookshop bidders raise the stakes
06 Sep 05 |  Business
Ottakar's founders launch buyout
26 Aug 05 |  Business
HMV makes move on Ottakar's chain
25 Aug 05 |  Business
Cheap Harry Potters hit Ottakar's
21 Jul 05 |  Business


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