By Maximilian Clarke

Like-for-like sales at HMV (LSE: HMV) are down 11.6% on 2010 as the company pursues its ongoing restructuring programme in the face of an increasingly challenging retail environment.

Profits for HMV Live increases, though did little to stem losses across other areas, which have boosted pre-tax losses by nearly 20% to £36 million.

“This has been a challenging start to the year,” conceded Simon Fox, the group’s Chief Executive. “However, we have taken decisive action to restructure the business and are now seeing the benefits of this, particularly in our Technology products business. Like all consumer-facing companies we are facing tough trading conditions but we continue to push forwards through this period. We remain well prepared for the key trading days ahead.”

On the platform of the summer’s successful restructuring and refinancing, progress is continuing on a wide range of initiatives including improving the retail offer with refitted stores, better product pricing driving market share gains, support from suppliers on opportunities such as consignment stock, delivering a reshaped store portfolio as previously announced, and reducing costs.

The interim statements have been prepared on a going concern basis and this reflects the Board’s confidence in its reasonable expectation that the Group will have adequate resources to continue in operation for the foreseeable future. However, the economic environment and trading circumstances create material uncertainties which may cast significant doubt on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern in the future. The Directors continue to maintain regular and constructive discussions with the Group’s banks.

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