HMV launches month-long 25% sale

HMV store
Image caption HMV sold its live business last year

HMV, which revealed a half-year pre-tax loss of £37.3m in December, has announced a month-long sales promotion which will see 25% knocked off prices.

The Blue Cross Sale, starting on Saturday, covers a range of lines, from CDs to books and technology products.

HMV said the sole reason for the sale was to provide customer value.

"It's what retailers do at this time of year, and any other interpretation is just the usual media speculation," said an HMV spokesman.

They said that the chain would normally run a "multi-buy" campaign at this time of year, but wanted to try something different this time.

The promotion will run in more than 230 stores across the UK and Ireland.

It comes a day after music chain Virgin France filed for bankruptcy and amid continuing pressure on High Street retailers in the UK.

Last month, HMV said it faced a "probable" breach of its current banking agreements in February and was facing "material uncertainties".

Sales for the six months to 27 October fell to £288.6m, down 13.5%.

At the time, chief executive Trevor Moore said the company was continuing to "maintain regular and constructive discussions with the group's banks".

He added: "HMV has had a difficult first half. However, the business has started to deliver a number of new initiatives which will help to maximise the seasonal sales opportunity and provide a platform for growth in 2013.

"Additionally, as we trade through this period, we will continue to develop further initiatives with our suppliers and I will provide updates at the appropriate time."

But he said that the group was unlikely to achieve previous expectations for the full year.

HMV has 238 branches, plus nine stores under the Fopp brand.

Least year, it announced it would be selling its live business, so it could focus on the retail chain. The sale of its flagship Hammersmith Apollo venue in west London was subsequently completed in August 2012 for £25.7m.

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