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Strong trading performance from HMV and Xtra-Vision in 2014

Jan 16, 2015, 12:41 PM by Matt Bone
HMV and Xtra-Vision today provided further evidence of a resilient trading strategy with total sales increasing by 15% in a year which contained few blockbuster movie releases.

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HMV and Xtra-Vision today provided further evidence of a resilient trading strategy with total sales increasing by 15% in a year which contained few blockbuster movie releases.

Total sales reached €95.2m in the year to December 2014 making the Group Ireland's largest entertainment retailer.

Sales of CDs increased by 170%  to over 1m units as HMV shop-in-shop departments were rolled out to 51 Xtra-Vision stores and new HMV stores were opened in Dublin, Ballymena, Galway  and Belfast. On a like-for-like basis music sales increased by 51% with HMV now taking 46% of the overall physical CD market in Ireland in the full year. Market share reached as high as 55% over the crucial Christmas period. 

As a result of HMV's performance, the overall CD market in Ireland increased by 14%.

Sales of vinyl albums increased by 400% in the year with over 50,000 units sold. Vinyl sales in the week before Christmas 2014 were the highest at HMV globally since the mid-1990s.

With fewer blockbuster movie releases than normal in 2014, the DVD market came under more pressure with a decline of 1.3% overall. But, with like-for-like sales increasing by 15%, HMV managed to increase its market share to 60% of the Irish market for DVD and BluRay. An impressive 82% of all BluRay discs sold in Ireland were purchased from either HMV or Xtra-Vision making the Group the dominant player in the Irish physical market.

However, film rentals at Xtra-Vision stores decreased by 23% due to the introduction of rental passes, where customers can avail of the cheapest price for new releases in Ireland for €20 each month coupled with customers switching to DVD ownership.

Sales of game consoles and software also enjoyed a 7% increase over 2013’s total.

Over [300,000] customers signed up to the renewed Pure rewards scheme at HMV in the UK during 2014, qualifying them for front-of-line access to [over 350] live in-store gigs and album signings as well as an increasing number of 'money can't buy' gifts and experiences such as trips to movie premieres and international music and film festivals. The Pure programme will be launched in Ireland  in early February  and will be rolled out to all Xtra-Vision members during 2015 with some spectacular prizes and events being available.

HMV and Xtra-Vision both launched transactional websites during the year and have made significant strides with sales ramping up in the second half of the year. A content-rich website featuring album and movie reviews and recommendations, entertainment industry news and coverage of HMV events will launch in the next few weeks.

Gerry Butler, CEO of HMV and Xtra-Vision said:

"The roll-out of HMV departments to many of our Xtra-Vision stores has made physical music products available in areas not previously covered by retailers. The result has been an overall increase in the market for CDs in Ireland. The HMV brand has also helped to drive DVD sales at Xtra-Vision stores that were previously focused almost exclusively on rentals."

Paul McGowan, CEO of HMV owners, Hilco Capital, said:

"In a year when major new movie releases have been scarce and there have been only a few major album successes, HMV and Xtra-Vision have captured more and more market share. With a bumper year of new releases already planned for 2015 we expect the Group to have overall growth in like-for-like DVD and BluRay sales as well as continued growth in the physical music sector with vinyl also expected to continue its revival.

I am particularly pleased with the impact of the many live gigs and album signing events across the country with HMV bringing over 200 bands directly to market last year culminating in May when 8 of the Top 20 albums were Irish artists. We have focused our energies on re-engaging fans with the entertainment industry and re-establishing the relevance of HMV as the Home of Entertainment."



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