Entertainment retailer HMV suffered a sales slump over Christmas, although performance was better than when it last updated.

Like-for-like retail sales plummeted 8.2% in the five weeks ending 31 December and total retail sales dropped 16.9%. Although the performance was disappointing, the like-for-like figure was an improvment on the 13.2% posted in mid-December.

The group also reiterated concerns about its ability to trade as a going concern.

HMV said sales had improved in the last two weeks of the year. In the nine weeks ending 31 December like-for-likes declined 9.8% and total sales slid 18.4%.

However, there were signs that the retailer’s bid to refocus on technology is paying off.

In the 144 stores the retailer has refitted with an extended technology range, like-for-like sales in the category were up 51% in the five week period.

HMV chief executive Simon Fox said: “The continuing actions to focus the business and to expand our technology offering are beginning to show through. 

“We are seeing a combination of a slowing of the decline in music and film, and acceleration in the growth of technology. Undoubtedly trading conditions and the consumer environment remain challenging, but we remain confident in HMV’s future prospects.”

The retailer’s live venue business, which it revealed last month it is considering selling, posted a like-for-like sales dip of 1% over the five week period although total sales were up 13.3%.