Sunday, November 19, 2017

H&M fashion sales dampened by British weather

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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.”