HMV Group has posted pre-tax losses of almost £40m just days after current Chief Executive Simon Fox announced his departure from the struggling former high street retail giant. HMV’s sales were down by 12.1% to £38.6m, with the value of physical music sales dropping by 19% year on year.
The retailer said in a statement: "The high street physical audio market is expected to decline in value by approximately 20%. The Directors expect this trend to continue over the next three years as both physical music sold by internet mail order and digital downloads continue to take market share”.
On the other side of the coin, sales in HMV’s live division increased by 7%, rising to £50.1m despite moves to shed its assets to extend credit, with the group confirming at the start of the year that they are considering selling off the entire division.
This week, HMV completed a £32m sale of Hammersmith Apollo to a joint company formed by AEG, CTS Eventim and Stage C Limited. The company purchased MAMA group in 2010 and continues to operate several live venues across the UK including The Forum and Heaven in London, Edinburgh’s Picture House and The Institute in Birmingham.
Current Chief Executive Simon Fox announced earlier this week that he was leaving HMV after six years. Fox will be replaced by Trevor Moore, who until recently was the CEO of Jessops and is set to take the reigns (or should that be poisoned chalice?) in September. The news was swiftly followed with an announcement that Finance Director David Wolffe was also leaving the group next month.
During the turbulent six years that Fox spent at HMV, the group saw sales spiral, stores shut down across the UK, an attempt to plug into the luxury designer headphone market and sold-off Waterstones and HMV Canada, embodying a general dramatic decline in high street music retail.