Friday, July 02, 2010

Waterstones Wanes !

Waterstones profits slump 70% after 'disappointing' year.

HMV Group has described the 2009/10 performance of Waterstones as "disappointing" as profits slumped by more than 70% to £2.8m.

As reported at the end of April, like-for-like sales fell 6.2% during the 12 month period to 24th April, while total sales dropped 6.3% to £513.6m.

It caps a tumultuous year for the bookseller, during which it experienced supply problems through its centralised book hub, made 650 staff redundant and saw former managing director Gerry Johnson leave the company in January. Johnson's departure, along with other senior figures including former commercial director Neil Jewsbury, cost the business £1.7m in "management restructuring costs". It had total exceptional costs of £2.7m for the year.

HMV Group primarily blamed the slump in profit in a "disappointing sales performance", led by an offer that focused too much on promotions, in addition to the exceptional costs. It said: "The sales performance was particularly disappointing through the autumn and the key Christmas season, as the delayed implementation of supply chain changes through the book hub reduced stock availability and weakened our store proposition."

Market share declined by 1% during the year, during which time the book market itself fell 2.6%.

SOURCE : The Bookseller 30th June 2010