Xtra-Vision and HMV sales up as recovery plan gains traction
Sales at Xtra-Vision and HMV increased 15pc last year as the companies’ recovery plan appeared to gain traction.
In a statement, the two brands said sales topped €95.2m in the 12 months to December 2014.
HMV closed its doors in 2013 after going into receivership. The brand however was taken over by private equity firm Hilco, along with the Xtra Vision brand. The HMV flagship store on Henry Street in Dublin reopened in September 2013 after being closed for seven months, while a smaller store has since reopened on Grafton Street as well.
CD sales increased by 170pc, albeit off a low base, to just over 1 million units as HMV fought the trend from CDs to MP3s. Nearly one in two CDs sold in Ireland are now sold by HMV, albeit in a declining market overall. Even so, CD sales are said to have increased 14pc last year.
HMV sold a little more than 50,000 vinyl albums in 2014. Vinyl is experiencing a resurgence, with sales now back at levels last seen two decades ago.
The company is also now the dominant player in high street DVD sales as well. Film rentals at Xtra-Vision however tumbled 23pc.
HMV and Xtra-Vision chief executive Gerry Butler commented: "The roll-out of HMV departments to many of our Xtra-vision stores has made physical music products available in areas not previously covered by retailers.
“The result has been an overall increase in the market for CDs in Ireland. The HMV brand has also helped to drive DVD sales at Xtra-Vision stores that were previously focused almost exclusively on rentals,” he added.
Hilco boss Paul McGowan, added: "In a year when major new movie releases have been scarce and there have been only a few major album successes, HMV and Xtra-vision have captured more and more market share. With a bumper year of new releases already planned for 2015 we expect the Group to have overall growth in like-for-like DVD and BluRay sales as well as continued growth in the physical music sector with vinyl also expected to continue its revival.
I am particularly pleased with the impact of the many live gigs and album signing events across the country with HMV bringing over 200 bands directly to market last year culminating in May when 8 of the Top 20 albums were Irish artists.”