Sales grow 0.5% to $4.48 bn

LONDON — After three years of decline, the value of British DVD sales grew slightly in 2007 to £2.3 billion ($4.48 billion).

The British Video Association estimates that this figure is 0.5% higher than in 2006, although a precise comparison isn’t available because of a change in the way the statistics are collected.

As previously announced, the number of units sold rose by more than 9% in 2007 to 250 million. The average price per unit is still falling, but there’s some evidence that the substantial price erosion of the previous couple of years is starting to level off.

The BVA believes that the value of the U.K. DVD market is no longer shrinking overall, and predicts that growth will resume over the next five years with the wider uptake of high-definition DVD.

“Not only has high-definition reached the one million unit mark as forecasted, bringing additional revenue to the market of circa £22 million ($43 million), but standard-definition has seen a 9.3% volume growth,” said Lavinia Carey, director general of the BVA. “The home entertainment market is now facing a value U-turn.”

A strong fourth quarter release slate of summer theatrical blockbusters, including the latest “Harry Potter” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” episodes, was responsible for a year-end surge in high-value sales.

The year-end upswing came despite a harsher economic climate, which hit the Christmas sales figures of retailers in many other sectors.

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