Vinyl sales put music giant HMV back on track as company turns a profit for the first time in four years
- HMV has seen sales jump by two-thirds following the Coronavirus lockdowns
- Vinyl sales across the UK hit a 30-year high in 2022 it was confirmed this month
- Sales of vinyl LPs grew for the 15th consecutive year, hitting 5.5 million units
The music industry is known for its comebacks. But few can be more surprising than HMV which, only a few years ago, was written off for dead.
Now a vinyl revival among music fans, bucking the trend for digital, is playing out a brighter future for the business.
Sales have jumped by two-thirds as HMV shrugged off the effects of pandemic lockdowns. It also turned a profit for the first time since it was rescued by a Canadian entrepreneur four years ago.
Vinyl sales across the UK hit a 30-year high in 2022, the Official Chart Company confirmed earlier this month.
Sales have jumped by two-thirds as HMV shrugged off the effects of pandemic lockdowns
The best-selling albums were Taylor Swift’s Midnights, which shifted over 89,000 vinyl copies, and Harry Styles’s Harry’s House, Arctic Monkeys’ The Car and Liam Gallagher’s C’mon You Know.
Sales of vinyl LPs grew for the 15th consecutive year in 2022, hitting 5.5 million units – the highest since 1990.
Businessman and music fan Doug Putman, 38, saved the company – still Britain’s biggest music chain – in 2019 and has since banked on the continued revival of vinyl records among both young and old music addicts.
He said: ‘Vinyl has enjoyed an ongoing revival, and many of the world’s biggest music artists now make vinyl a key part of their new album promotions, attracting collectors of all ages.’
Mr Putman has also added more music and film merchandise to cater for fans of franchises such as Star Wars and Netflix series Stranger Things.
HMV’s sales jumped 67 per cent to £151 million in the year to May and even paid its owner a £1.8 million dividend.
Like many retailers, the company was forced to close its shops in the pandemic. But Mr Putman told the MoS he planned to add more shops to his 120-strong business – another ten this year – and sell more online. ‘Looking ahead, we expect another solid performance,’ he said.
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Since its launch four years ago by Merck Mercuriadis and Chic frontman Nile Rodgers, investment trust Hipgnosis has snapped up the rights to tens of thousands of songs from well-known musicians.
Initially it proved a hit with investors but shares have slumped over the past year or so, sending it to a deep discount to the net asset value of the catalogue it holds.
That back catalogue is impressive, featuring song rights of famous artists and some of their biggest hits, ranging from Neil Young, to Blondie, Shakira and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Boss Mercuriadis has said he shares investors’ disappointment at the performance of the trust’s share price following a challenging year.
> Hipgnosis: A bargain investment in streaming or one to avoid?