HMV slashes prices ahead of looming bank tests

Michael Bow
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TROUBLED retailer HMV yesterday dug in for a last ditch fight to boost its stricken sales figures by slashing 25 per cent off prices, amid mounting pressure on the outlet over looming debt covenant breaches.

The retailer, which lost £37.3m in the first half of last year, will ditch its normal January promotional campaign in favour of more aggressive price reductions.

HMV is currently locked in talks with a syndicate of eight lenders over its debt pile. Last month it said it faced a “probable” breach of debt covenants, after sales fell 13 per cent in the first half of last year.

Despite assurances that the sale was unlinked to talks with lenders, investors were spooked enough to send shares down 5.42 per cent yesterday.

Meanwhile photography chain Jessops, which collapsed into administration on Wednesday, yesterday stopped purchases through its website. PwC has been appointed as administrator to the firm, which was founded in 1935.