Home Entertainment Corporation, the UK company that operates the Choices Video retail chain, reported half year pre-tax profits up 9% at $8.24m (£5.37m) on turnover that increased 24% to $158m (£103m).
The company, which floated on the AIM tier of the UK stockmarket last October, said that the transition from VHS to DVD is changing the mix of business. "Video rental activities suffered from a comparatively poor release schedule but benefited from the growth in DVDs. Video sell-thru gains were a result of DVD, although the VHS market remained more buoyant than expected," said chairman Iain Muspratt. Sell-thru activity accounted for 50.1% of the Company's turnover for the period compared to 44.3% in the prior year.
For the current year Muspratt said: "Our trading performance for the first 8 weeks of the current year, [when] group turnover rose 16.9% to $21.6m (£14.1m), was satisfactory particularly bearing in mind the negative impact of the World Cup on demand for home entertainment. In broad terms we expect the Company to benefit from the continuing consumer take-up of DVD players and computer games consoles.
Our confidence in the prospect for DVD rental and sell-thru growth in the current year is underpinned by a strong release schedule which includes Lord Of The Rings, A Beautiful Mind, Blade 2, Monsters Inc, Ocean's 11 and Minority Report."