Like-for-likes climb 9% at entertainment chain, but Waterstone's disappoints

HMV Group has revealed sparkling figures for entertainment retailer HMV in the 18 weeks September 1, but Waterstone’s posted a disappointing performance.

Total sales jumped 12.5 per cent at HMV in the UK and Ireland, on like-for-likes up 9.6 per cent over the period.

In a statement, HMV said: “This performance reflects a stronger than expected DVD market, continuing growth in games and further market share gains in all formats, driven by an improved retail offer and competitor capacity withdrawal.”

It added that HMV's online sales continued to grow by more than 100 per cent year on year, increasing its share of the online entertainment market.

HMV Group reported total sales up 12.2 per cent, with like-for-likes up 5.8 per cent for the 18 week period – excluding the results of the disposal of HMV Japan that was completed on August 25.

Stablemate bookseller Waterstone’s delivered a 2.7 per cent increase in like-for-like sales over the period. However, its like-for-likes were flat after adjusting for the strong demand for the final Harry Potter blockbuster release.

Pali International analyst Nick Bubb said: “Waterstone’s 2.7 per cent like-for-like increase is a little disappointing.” He added that flat like-for-likes, excluding Harry Potter, implies continuing small market share loss.

HMV Group chairman Carl Symon said: “At this point in our trading calendar we have much work to do, but we expect to approach the key Christmas period in good operational shape and with exciting offers for our customers.”

This week, HMV opened its next-generation stores at Dudley’s Merry Hill shopping centre and in Tunbridge Wells.