U.K. entertainment retailer HMV put in a solid performance in 2009, but its sales in the first three months of 2010 were disappointing.

A trading update from the retailer showed total year-on-year sales growth for HMV U.K. and Ireland of 7.2% for the 12 months ending April 24, 2010, while like-for-like figures showed a drop in sales of 2.4% compared to the prior 12 months.

But for the 16 weeks ending April 24, HMV U.K. and Ireland total sales were down 8.2% and like-for-like sales were down 13.2%.

The retailer said the drop in the first quarter of 2010 reflected strong comparative performances in the previous two years, fewer promotional offers and severe weather in January.

Chief executive Simon Fox said it had been a "difficult" quarter but added that HMV "planned accordingly by tightly managing margins and discretionary costs."

"However, the severe weather in early January and reduction in campaign activity in favor of preserving margin further impacted the like-for-like out-turn," he said in a statement.

Fox said that HMV Group's profit will be in line with expectations and "comfortably ahead of last year." Analysts' expectations for HMV Group's pre-tax profit for the year ending April 24 is £74.5 million ($114.2 million).

Last month the company announced its new strategy to evolve HMV's product mix to include items such as clothing, and to grow the new HMV Live division.

The company said that HMV Group including Live had 1.8% sales growth in the 12 months to April 24, while HMV Group not including Live had 1.4% sales growth in the same period. HMV Group includes bookseller Waterstone's.

In its statement, HMV said it plans to grow the live business and said its Birmingham venue will reopen as HMV Institute in September.

The international figures for the HMV stores in Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong were more consistent in their decline than the U.K.: down 8.9% for like-for-like and down 8.5% for total sales for the 12 month period, and down 8.8% for like-for-like and down 9.5% for total sales in the 16 weeks.

Total HMV sales for the 52 weeks were up 4.3% and like-for-like sales were down 3.5%.

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