British retail chain Woolworths Group plc today (Dec. 5) warned that its full-year financial figures would be at the lower end of analysts' expectations following a tough period of trading, particularly in its entertainment business.

Woolworths' shareprice dropped more than 10% to 32p after it said like-for-like sales for the 18 weeks to Dec. 2 were down by 6.5%. The group, which is a key player in music and DVD sales, said its entertainment business was among the worst performers.

"The most challenging market is entertainment," Woolworths said in its trading update, "where retail prices are materially below last year." The company's entertainment wholesale division Entertainment U.K. (EUK) and 2entertain, its joint venture with BBC Worldwide, continue to trade "in line with expectations," Woolworths added.

Heading into the crucial Christmas trading period, the chain said it was confident it had "well developed retail plans, a good product range, tight stocks and a strong multichannel offer."

Woolworths is one of the U.K.'s biggest sellers of CDs. In 2005, the retailer accounted for 28.5% of British consumer spend on singles, and 11.2% of albums, according to the TNS "Audio Visual Trak Survey." During 2005, the chain had 819 outlets selling music -- more than any other retail in the market, according to Millward Brown statistics published in the BPI's "Statistical Handbook."