HMV Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest music retailer and owner of the Waterstone’s book chain, reported higher revenue on sales of the new Harry Potter novel and as customers bought more DVDs because of wet summer weather, according to Bloomberg. Same-store sales rose 5.8 percent in the 18 weeks ended Sept. 1, excluding a Japanese unit that was sold, Maidenhead, England-based HMV said today. That compares with a 10 percent slide in the 10 weeks through July 1, 2006.
The results were “partly flattered” by Harry Potter, Numis Securities analyst Jose Marco Tobares said today in a note. “HMV is still a business in structural decline.” Total sales gained 12 percent. Revenue increased 2.7 percent at Waterstone’s stores open at least a year and would have been unchanged on the prior year if it weren’t for the novel about the teenage wizard, HMV said. Total Waterstone’s sales climbed 16 percent after the acquisition of Ottakar’s book stores. The chain is now made up of about 300 outlets.