Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 09:03 UK

HMV helped by Woolworths' demise

HMV store front
Sales were up at HMV stores

Music, games and books retailer HMV has reported an 18% rise in annual profits, aided by the collapse of former High Street rivals Woolworths and Zavvi.

HMV said the closure of its two competitors helped like-for-like sales at its UK and Republic of Ireland shops rise 1.9% in the year to 25 April.

However, same-store sales were down 3.8% at its Waterstone's book shops.

HMV said its annual group-wide pre-tax profit totalled £61.3m, up from the £52m reported a year earlier.

Its annual profits were also lifted by achieving group-wide cost savings of £16m.

Annual revenues rose 4.4% to £1.96bn.

"We are working hard to maximise both the market share opportunity that has arisen from the withdrawal of competitors, and the investments that have been made over the last two years to improve performance," said HMV.

The firm added that it remained "confident" of its continuing performance, despite the ongoing weak trading environment.

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