Sell-out launches help lift profits nearly 10 per cent
HMV Group chief operating officer and acting managing director of Waterstone's Brian McLaughlin will retire on December 31. The announcement was made as HMV revealed a 3.8 per cent rise in full-year sales to£1.8 billion.

Like-for-like sales for the in the 53 weeks to April 30 increased by 1.1 per cent. Profit before tax was up 9.9 per cent to£136.2 million on the back of key product launches in both the music and bookselling arms of the business.

HMV chief executive officer Alan Giles said: 'The UK trading environment became more difficult and the outlook remains uncertain. However, interest in our product categories remains buoyant, with first-week sales of Coldplay's X&Y album the second highest in UK chart history, an improving DVD release schedule, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince attracting significant advance orders and new hardware consoles poised to ignite the market for games software.'

In the 7 weeks to June 18, like-for-like sales were down 1 per cent, although total sales growth reached 2.3 per cent.