HMV admit future is uncertain after announcing £36 million losses

Firm will sell live music division to help improve finances

HMV have admitted its future is uncertain after announcing half-year losses of £36.4 million.

The retailer revealed that like-for-like sales had dropped 17.6% for the 26 weeks to October 29 compared to the same figures from last year, and said that they may be forced to sell its live music division to help improve finances.

In January this year, HMV announced that they were going to close 60 of its stores in the following 12 months after seeing its shares fall drastically, and in June agreed a new £220 million refinancing deal described by financial experts as “eye-watering”.

However, today’s news has prompted the retailer to take more action to help bolster its finances, with Sky News reporting that HMV Live, which runs venues such as London Hammersmith Apollo and Kentish Town Forum as well as Lovebox festival, was being placed under strategic review which could lead to its sale.

HMV chief executive Simon Fox said:

This has been a challenging start to the year. However, we have taken decisive action to restructure the business and are now seeing the benefits of this, particularly in our Technology products business.

He went on to add: “Like all consumer-facing companies we are facing tough trading conditions but we continue to push forwards through this period. We remain well prepared for the key trading days ahead.”

Shares in HMV have also fell 5.7 per cent to 3.65p, which means the retailer is now valued at £16.4 million, but they did claim that their decision to focus on technology products was working, with like-for-like sales of products such as headphones, speaker docks and tablet computers up by 147 per cent.