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British Rentailer Choices UK Posts Loss

29 Aug, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

Longtime British video rental chain Choices UK is struggling.

The company posted its first loss in 15 years — £4.2 million (about $8 million U.S.) for the fiscal year ended June 3. That's compared to £4.5 million (about $8.5 million U.S.) in profit for the prior fiscal year.

Retail sales dropped 3.8%, and rental was down 11.3%. Choices operates 217 stores in England and Wales.

Choices executives blamed rampant video piracy in the Britain for lowering prices and cutting demand for rentals. Company chief executive Anthony Skitt told U.K. Web site ThisIsMoney.com that he's working with the country's Video Standards Council to identify pirates. He also called for the studios to cut down windows to thwart piracy.

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