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HMV drops 5% as finance director follows chief executive out of the door

Category : Business

Company says David Wolffe will leave once successor is found, but news sends shares sharply lower

Just days after struggling retailer HMV announced the departure of Simon Fox as chief executive, comes news the finance director is following him out of the door.

Responding to weekend reports, the company said David Wolffe had indicated his intention to leave, but would stay until a successor had been found. The news has sent the company’s shares down nearly 5% to 3.45p. Analyst Kate Calvert at Seymour Pierce issued a sell note, saying:

Adapting the famous quote from The Importance of being Earnest – ‘To lose one senior director may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness’.

This [latest departure] is likely to result in speculation that trading remains under pressure and that the business may not return to profit in 2013. HMV is yet to publish its full year results for the year ending April 2012, which are normally published at the end of June. Management expects the business to benefit from the disruption to Game and from changes to key supplier relationships in 2011. However, we suspect this profit benefit will be short lived. HMV saw no sustainable benefit when Zavvi went into administration in December 2008. We continue to believe there will be no let up in the structural pressures on the business from on-line or the supermarkets.

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