HMV, the troubled music retailer, has dropped 6.7% this morning after reporting like for like (LFL) sales down 8.1% over the crucial five weeks to the end of December when compared to the same period of 2010.
Today's release also includes a nine week figure to the end of December during which LFL sales dropped 9.7%. This implies the so called "run rate" improved in the build up to Christmas, although things still look very grim for HMV.
Comparing total sales (including closed stores) to 2010, income is down a whopping 18%.
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Analysts at Nomura say their rating for HMV remains under review.
They point out that HMV Live, which runs the group's concert business, is considered by management to be a valuable asset, the sale of which could reduce debt. This makes a report today from the Financial Times that HMV has instructed Citigroup to find a buyer for the Live business particularly interesting.
The other main hope for HMV is its shift to selling portable technology products. That unit saw like-for-like sales grow 51% in the 5 weeks to the end of December, compared to 2010.
Nevertheless there is an ominous comment in today's release where HMV states "the economic environment and trading circumstances create material uncertainties which may cast doubt on the Group's ability to continue as a going concern in the future, and these uncertainties continue."
Simon Fox, HMV's Chief Executive, was, however, more up-beat, saying: "We are seeing a combination of a slowing of the decline in Music and Film, and acceleration in the growth of Technology. Undoubtedly trading conditions and the consumer environment remain challenging, but we remain confident in HMV's future prospects."
In the last 12 months HMV has lost 89% of its value.
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