1990s style

Believe it or not, CDs and vinyl made a big comeback last year

A revitalised HMV sold lots of both. What next, cassettes?

Music - 1997 MTV Europe Music Awards - Rotterdam U2 at the 1997 MTV Europe music awards Suzan Moore / EMPICS Entertainment Suzan Moore / EMPICS Entertainment / EMPICS Entertainment

HMV AND XTRA-VISION sold over 1 million CDs last year – nearly three times as many as it sold over the previous 12 months.

And vinyl sales were up even further, with the retailer reporting it sold 50,000 records in 2014, five times the number bought the previous year.

HMV’s global record sales in the lead-up to Christmas were the highest they had been since the mid-1990s.

The company today said its total Irish sales reached just over €95 million in the year to December and it accounted for nearly half of Ireland’s remaining CD market.

Part of the increase came with the rollout of HMV store-in-stores at Xtra-vision outlets and new premises being opened in Dublin, although like-for-like music sales were still up over 50% for the year.

A big turnaround

Both HMV and Xtra-vision were sold in 2013 to UK-based Hilco Capital, which specialises in turning around struggling businesses.

HMV had earlier gone into receivership and 300 staff lost their jobs as its 16 stores were forced to close.

But since then the re-launched company has reopened on Dublin’s Grafton Street and pushed out a string of outlets running under both brands.

.  Gemma McCabe from Drimnag The first customer at HMV's Grafton Street store Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Not so good for films

Only film sales took a small hit last year, although the company said it increased its market share and now accounted for 60% of the Irish DVD and BluRay market.

Xtra-vision film rentals plunged as it introduced monthly rental passes and a bigger share of customers decided to buy movies outright.

HMV and Xtra-vision chief executive Gerry Butler said putting music stores in movie-rental outlets had made CDs and vinyl available again in areas where there had previously been no retailers.

Xtra-Vision Launches Bala Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Hilco Capital chief executive Paul McGowan said the company had done well in year with few major movie releases or album successes, but he expected things to improve further in 2015.

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 eight of the top 20 albums were Irish artists,” he said.

The company didn’t reveal any details of gains or losses with its sales results, although HMV’s most recent accounts, for the 8 months to the end of 2013, stated an operating profit of €1 million on a turnover of only €9.7 million.

Originally published at 9.20am

READ: Playstation 4 gives Sony something to shout about as sales to 18.5 million >

READ: Irish consumers had their best Christmas for seven years >

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