Page last updated at 07:34 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

HMV has smaller loss as competitors collapse

HMV store front
HMV has gained market share as its rivals have gone into administration

Music, games and books retailer HMV has said its losses have shrunk as competitors run into trouble.

The company's pre-tax loss shrunk to £24.9m for the 26 weeks to 24 October, compared with a loss of £27.5m in the same period last year.

It has converted 32 stores of former rival Zavvi, while Borders, competitor to HMV's books chain Waterstone's, recently went into administration.

Overall sales rose by 5.6% to £797m. However, Waterstone's sales fell 4.3%.

"The exit of competitors from the UK entertainment market at the beginning of 2009 has created opportunities to capture sales in markets where these stores formerly overlapped with HMV," the company said.

"Although our peak trading weeks lie ahead of us, we remain confident in the outlook for the group for the current financial year," the retailer said.

In September, HMV bought half of online music store 7digital. The plans is for 7digital to become HMV's supplier for all of its digital operations, including a new e-books website for Waterstone's.

On October, HMV opened a pilot HMV Curzon-branded three-screen digital cinema in Wimbledon above its High Street store, and it said this could be repeated in other locations.

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