UPDATE 1-HMV sees return to profit next year
LONDON Aug 9 (Reuters) - Struggling British entertainment retailer HMV posted a 16.2 million pound loss, but said it was confident that a focus on technology and the support of its suppliers and banks would help it bounce back.
The 91-year-old retailer, famous for its Nipper the dog trademark, said on Thursday it made a pretax loss before exceptionals of 16.2 million pounds in the year to April 28, down from profit of the same amount a year earlier, and broadly in line with guidance it issued in May.
The company reiterated it was confident of returning to profit in the 2012/13 year, reflecting disruption to rival computer games retailer Game and better terms with key music and film suppliers.
"The last year has been a difficult and challenging one for HMV and, as expected, this is reflected in our annual results," chief executive Simon Fox said on Thursday.
"However, we are confident that the actions we have taken will enable us to significantly improve cash generation and make profits of at least 10 million pounds in the year ahead."
The firm, which trades from about 250 stores in Britain and Ireland, employing about 4,500, has been shifting its emphasis from fast-declining CD and DVD markets into the growth markets of new technology products, live music and event ticketing. It has closed stores, and sold its Waterstone's book chain, Canadian arm and Hammersmith Apollo music venue.
It is facing intense competition from internet retailers and the rise of digital downloading as well as the march of grocers such as Tesco into general merchandise ranges.
Last week the firm said its CEO of six years Simon Fox would leave the company in September and be succeeded by Trevor Moore, a former CEO of camera retailer Jessops.
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