HMV hit by losses of £80m

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The Independent Online

The ailing music retailer HMV has crashed to an £80m after-tax loss as its departing chief executive, Simon Fox, ran up big charges in his final results.

The company took a £38.7m write-down on its former joint venture with the electronic book retailer aNobii, and there were £16m in costs from restructuring and store closures. HMV said last week that Mr Fox would quit next month and be replaced by Trevor Moore. Even without exceptional, HMV made a pre-tax loss of £16.2m. Revenues fell by 12 per cent on a like-for-like basis to £873m, as falling sales of recorded music failed to offset growth in live music.

Mr Fox is "confident" that HMV has "a secure future" and forecast profits of at least £10m next year, as the group focuses on selling entertainment devices. But Philip Dorgan, at Panmure Gordon, warned: "HMV is not out of the woods yet."

HMV's shares, whose value has plummeted by more than 95 per cent in three years, closed at 3.6p. Its net debt of £167m is 10 times its market value of £16m.