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HMV 'to call in administrators'

The major high street record store HMV is poised to call in administrators, according to reports.

Directors for the music retailer are in talks about the company's future, and accountancy firm Deloitte could be waiting in the wings, Sky News said.

A number of options were reportedly being discussed by the HMV board, and it is thought an announcement will be made on Monday night. Deloitte declined to comment.

The chain employs more than 4,000 people across almost 240 stores in the UK and Ireland.

In the run-up to Christmas HMV's boss Trevor Moore warned the entertainment group was in trouble as he revealed the chain was in talks with banks over its future following worse-than-expected trading over the festive period. The chief executive said market conditions suggested the group would fail to meet expectations for the year to April, so would not meet the terms of its bank loans.

HMV said like-for-like sales fell 10.2% in the 26 weeks to October 27, last year, as its pre-tax loss narrowed to £36.1 million, compared to £50.1 million the previous year. Shares tumbled 39% after the dismal results were published, giving the retailer a market value of just £10.1 million.

Mr Moore joined the group from camera chain Jessops, which itself went into administration last week at the cost of 1,370 jobs across its 187 stores.

Suppliers including Universal Music came to HMV's rescue in January 2011 with a deal which helped the retailer shed some of its huge debt pile.

Its struggle has seen it sell off several parts of its business, including the Waterstones book retailer, to reduce its debt pile, while closing loss-making stores. HMV also offloaded its Hammersmith Apollo venue for £32 million, which enabled it to thrash out a new deal with lenders.

Back in May, last year, when former boss Simon Fox was still in charge, the group said it was looking for pre-tax profits of at least £10 million for the 2012/13 financial year.

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