Christmas sales boosted by bestsellers
Strong book, CD and DVD sales over Christmas contributed to a 6.4 per cent increase in like for like sales at HMV for the five weeks ended January 8.

Group sales at the retailer grew by 10.9 per cent over the period, and sales at the company's music division increased by 4.3 per cent like for like. At bookselling arm Waterstones, like-for-like sales rose 7 per cent.

In the 26 weeks to October 23, the retailer's group sales increased by 3.6 per cent to£760 million, with like-for-like sales up 1.9 per cent. Profit before tax for the period increased by 23.3 per cent to£13.3 million.

Group chief executive Alan Giles announced the start of a share buy-back programme for the business. He said: 'While trading at Christmas was strong, we take a cautious view of the outlook for the UK consumer economy, but expect it to prove resilient for us to meet our financial targets for the full year.

Music bestsellers this Christmas included albums by U2 and Scissor Sisters, while on DVD, Little Britain: The Complete First Series and I Robot sold well Bestselling books included Himalaya by Michael Palin and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.'