The World Cup has hit current trading at HMV but the entertainment group remains confident as it enacts its strategy to evolve the product mix, develop its live music and ticketing business and turn around bookseller Waterstone’s.
HMV reported profit before tax and exceptionals up 17.7% to £74.2m in the year to April 24, when sales climbed 3.1% to just over £2bn for the first time.
Like-for-likes at the eponymous UK and Ireland division fell 2.4% in the period, and at Waterstones by 6.2%.
After a year of change as HMV broadened its product mix into areas such as fashion and Waterstone’s was hit by problems at its central book distribution hub, chief executive Simon Fox said progress was being made to “to transform this business into a broad-based entertainment brand”.
He said market share gains at HMV, a stronger position in live music following the acquisition of Mama in January, a year after the creation of a joint venture with the venues business, and localised offers and growing e-book sales at Waterstone’s all positioned the retailer well.
But HMV also reported: “Our new financial, year has begun with some further disruption to trading from the impact of the World Cup.”
The football tournament has hit shopper footfall as consumers’ attention was diverted to matches.
Chairman Robert Swannell was confident in HMV’s future. He said: “We have a clearly focused strategic agenda for the next three years to build on our core strengths as the leading brands in our markets.
“Though there is much for us to do to execute this plan, we are confident that through its delivery we can create sustainable value for shareholders.”