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H&M sales drop further in September

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Comparable store sales for high street fashion retailer H&M declined seven per cent year-on-year in September, according to monthly trading figures published today.

In the three months to the end of August 2011, H&M sales dropped three per cent on a like-for-like basis leading to a 15.5 per cent fall in profits, and it seems that business got even slower after the summer months.

Over the last year the Swedish company has increased its international store portfolio by 252 to a total of 2,363, helping improve overall sales including VAT in September by three per cent in local currencies compared to the same period last year.

The fall in comparable LFL sales is the biggest monthly drop of the year and the steepest decline since August 2009 when trading fell 11 per cent, showing the worsening affect that global economic instability is having on even the most established high street trader.

Responding to the company’s last quarterly results, H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson said: “We have great respect for the current economic climate.

“In this situation, it is extra important to have a long-term perspective and to always make sure that we give customers the best combination of fashion and quality for their money in every market.

“We have a strong business concept, a strong financial position and we are continuing to grow with high profitability.”

He was also keen to point out that H&M is still growing market share in a difficult trading environment and the retailer still managed to post profits of SEK 3.59 billion (£338 million) last quarter, but its shrinking recent sales do show that the pressure on high street retailers is far from easing.

Published on Monday 17 October by Editorial Assistant

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