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HMV to post loss ahead of make-or-break Christmas

HMV is expected to post another big loss in its interim results tomorrow, as analysts predict a "make or break Christmas" for the beleaguered music retailer.

Numis Securities has forecast a pre-tax loss of £34.5m, though this would at least be down on last year's £41.3m hit. The main problem is like-for-like sales, which fell 15.1 per cent in the first 18 weeks of HMV's financial year.

The 90-year-old chain, which had to sell its Waterstone's bookshops in May after a poor 2010 Christmas, has pinned its future on increasing technology sales. But its chief executive, Simon Fox, will hope that huge sales of the posthumous Amy Winehouse album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, will result in a stronger festive period.

Analysts at Peel Hunt said: "We see this as a make-or-break Christmas. If there is not a marked pick-up in trading levels, then the future of HMV will come into doubt."