While H&M increased sales in its fourth quarter, its results were less than predicted, which the Swedish fashion chain has blamed on unseasonably warm weather.
Year-on-year, sales rose by 4% at H&M, the world’s second biggest fashion retailer. Although profitable, this is below the mean average that was predicted for the company, based on 20 estimates compiled by Bloomberg
H&M blamed unseasonably mild weather in Europe, including Germany where it generates around 20% of its sales, and North America for the lower-than-expected figures, in a similar fashion to several other apparel retailers over the past year.
This is in stark contrast to H&M’s rival Inditex, which reported a 15% increase in sales in local currency terms from November 1 to December 3.
This marks a continued decline for H&M; this is the second time this year that the company's sales have fallen below 10% Its gross margin at the end of its third quarter this year narrowed to 55.9%, its lowest point since 2004. Sales were hampered by price markdowns, as well as the unfavourably strong dollar which harmed its overall figures.