HMV profits from demise of rivals Zavvi and Woolworths

Music and games sales rise but Waterstone's struggles

The entertainment retail group HMV has vowed to drive home its market-leading position this year after the collapse of its rivals, as it posted robust annual profits and sales growth.

HMV, which runs the eponymous chain and the bookseller Waterstone's, benefited not only by grabbing sales from now defunct retailers, such as Woolworths, but also by acquiring 25 stores from Zavvi, another failed rival. HMV UK & Ireland's performance was further boosted by a surge in sales of computer games and resilient music sales, but Waterstone's continued to endure tough trading on the high street.

Simon Fox, the chief executive of HMV, said: "We are working hard to maximise the market share opportunity that has arisen from the withdrawal of competitors." The group trumpeted a 11.5 per cent rise in pre-tax profits, before exceptional items, to £63m for the year to 25 April, and analysts believe the demise of its rivals will give its figures another shot in the arm this year.

John Stevenson, an analyst at KBC Peel Hunt, said: "For the coming year, we believe the group can deliver material sales and profits benefits from the collapse of Woolworths and Zavvi, noting the sales transfer is in line with forecasts at this time." Mr Stevenson said Woolworths and Zavvi had annual entertainment sales of about £800m.

The entertainment retailer's robust trading demonstrates how some retailers are prospering from the demise of rivals during the downturn, although HMV has recently moved to diversify its operations into the live music market through a joint venture with Mama Group, as well as strategic partnerships with Curzon for cinemas and Orange for mobile phone concessions in its stores, which it will start rolling out this week.

For the year to 25 April, HMV UK & Ireland posted like-for-like sales up by 1.9 per cent. The retailer added that sales of game and technology sales now account for 24 per cent of total sales – boosted by sales of Grand Theft Auto last year – up from 14 per cent at the beginning of its three-year plan in April 2007. HMV said that its unit sales of music grew by 5 per cent, outperforming the broader UK market, where volumes declined by 3 per cent. HMV's total sales jumped by 4.4 per cent to £1.96bn, and group like-for-like sales declined by 0.4 per cent. However, underlying sales at Waterstone's fell by 3.8 per cent over the year, in a declining book market. But Mr Fox said that publishers were feeling more bullish about the year ahead, citing a strong pipeline of books from the autumn onwards, including Dan Brown's new novel in September.

Like-for-like sales at the group's international division, which includes 129 HMV stores in Canada, fell by 3.4 per cent. HMV will pay a final dividend of 5.6p, making its total dividend unchanged at 7.4p.

Sales of Michael Jackson albums outstrip Elvis and Lennon

HMV has revealed that sales of Michael Jackson's albums have rocketed since his death last week and have even surpassed posthumous sales of John Lennon and Elvis tracks.

Simon Fox, chief executive of HMV, said the retailer sold 50,000 Jackson albums last Friday and Saturday – an 80-fold increase. He said HMV had looked back at previous sales following the death of Elvis and the former Beatles star and Jackson's fans had bought "considerably more".

He added: "We were overwhelmed on Friday by customers coming in store and online."

The death of the King of Pop catapulted his Number Ones album to the top spot in the UK charts on Sunday, up from a 121st ranking the week before. The best-selling single download on hmv.com is his 1988 hit "Man in the Mirror".

HMV had been building up stocks of his albums ahead of Jackson's tour of London this summer, but had been "overwhelmed" by demand on Friday.

Mr Fox said: "We are out of stock in many stores. We are replenishing fast and we are hoping to have stock back in today."

Staff in HMV's flagship store on Oxford Street in London said the CDs on sale were the only ones remaining, although they said more were on order.

Fans have created a temporary shrine to the singer outside HMV's store in the Trocadero in central London.

James Thompson and Helena Nathan-King

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Financial Analyst - Forecasting - Yorkshire

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...

Business Architect - Bristol - £500 per day

£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...

Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup