HMV, the market leading U.K. entertainment retailer, has announced like-for-like sales growth of 1.7% by value for the 18 weeks ending Aug. 29, 2009.

HMV Group issued the trading update at its annual general meeting (AGM) today in London.

Total sales growth for HMV U.K. and Ireland was 12.5% compared to same 18-week period a year earlier, resulting from strong market share gains across all product categories combined with the integration of 29 former Zavvi stores, according to HMV. Entertainment retailer Zavvi went into administration - roughly equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy - in December 2008 and HMV took on 29 sites, which it rebranded as HMV stores.

HMV International total sales fell 11.9%, with a like-for-like decline of 12.6%. Overall, HMV total sales growth was 7.4%, with a like-for-like decline of 1%.

"In a tough consumer environment, the Group has made a solid start to the new financial year," said Simon Fox, HMV Group chief executive, in a statement. "Our plans for the peak selling period are in good shape, and with a strong line-up across all product categories our focus is on providing our customers with the very best offers for Christmas."

HMV Group also announced its acquisition of 50% of 7digital, following its partnership with U.K. venue operator the Mama Group in January. HMV has also expanded into ticketing and the inaugural HMV Curzon digital cinema is set to launch in October at HMV Wimbledon.

A concession for mobile operator Orange has rolled out to 17 stores and a further 11 are planned for the next few weeks.

Fox added: "The strategic initiatives that comprise our three-year plan are on track, and beyond this we are continuing to drive new initiative for further growth."

The next trading update will be its interim results on Dec. 11.