Fast fashion chain H&M has blamed a frosty spring season for lower than expected results in its second quarter.
H&M noted that its overall results were “significantly below” expectations, although a rise in sales in May helped to stabilise revenue. Overall sales worldwide rose by 5% and saw a further incline of 9% in May.
Pre-tax profits fell by 17% in the quarter to £576m (7bn Swedish Krona) as the retailer had to slash prices on items that did not sell in March and April.
First half profits also dropped from £1bn (13.1bn Krona) to £848m (10.3bn Krona).
UK sales were up by 1% in the first half of the year, but flatlined in H&M’s biggest market in Germany.
Chief Executive Karl-Johan Persson admitted that it had been a “challenging half-year” for fashion retail, adding: “The sales increase in March and April was significantly below our plan. These two months were negatively affected by cold spring weather in many of our markets”.
“The fact that the sales increase in the quarter was below plan naturally also had an impact on profits. It has been a challenging half-year for fashion retail in many markets, but we have great confidence going forward.”