Business Matters: HMV Woes Signal Even Bigger Retail Changes Ahead
Business Matters: HMV Woes Signal Even Bigger Retail Changes Ahead

U.K.-based retailer HMV has issued another profit warning sending the company's shares down over 9% on Wednesday before closing down 6.1%.

The company lowered its estimate for full-year profit to 30 million pounds (about $49 million) from $40 million ($65 million). In addition, the company said its bankers had given it a one-month extension - to July 2 - to meet its loan covenants.

HMV may need to sell off some assets and re-focus its business. The company is seeking to sell its Waterstone's chain of bookstores. Russian investor Alexander Mamut is reported to be interested. It is also interested in offloading its Canadian businesses.

HMV's live music holdings may also be in play. A report by Sky News claims that HMV's live music assets are being sought by investor Peter Dubens, the founder and managing partner of Oakley Capital. Through a joint venture with Mama Group, HMV has a stake in live music venues in the U.K.

Shares of HMV closed at 11.5 pence (about 19 cents) on Wednesday, a far cry from 85 pence (about $1.39) a year ago. The fall of HMV's stock reflects difficulties at retailers who sell books and recorded media such as CDs and DVDs. In the U.K., where HMV operates most of its stores, the trade value of physical music sales dropped 19.2% in 2010, according to the IPFI. In 2009 the decline was a modest 6.1%.

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