Friday 20 October 2017

H&M's sales growth weakest in two years

Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has reported a decline in third-quarter profitability and warned that higher garment costs will weigh on margins over the rest of the year.
Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has reported a decline in third-quarter profitability and warned that higher garment costs will weigh on margins over the rest of the year.

Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz reported its weakest monthly sales growth in more than two years on Tuesday citing unseasonably warm weather in many of its large markets in Europe.

The world's second-biggest fashion retailer after Zara owner Inditex  posted a 1 percent rise in local currencies from a year earlier, falling short of the 6 percent rise expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

It was H&M's weakest reading since March 2013 when sales shrank 4 percent.

H&M had recorded double-digit growth in the previous 10 months.

Industry-wide clothing sales in Germany, H&M's single-biggest market, sank 16 percent in August, according to Textilwirtschaft industry data.

Societe Generale analyst Anne Critchlow said the figure implied around an 8 percent plunge in like-for-like sales.

"Weather was to blame: we have seen figures showing that the German, Swedish and UK clothing market were weak in August," she said.

Spain's Inditex, which is less exposed to northern and western Europe than H&M, is due to report half-year results on Wednesday.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect on average a 25 percent rise in net profit.

H&M said third-quarter group sales for June-August rose to 46.0 billion crowns (3.61 billion pounds) from 38.8 billion, in line with the 45.8 billion forecast by analysts.

H&M, which does the bulk of its business in Europe, is due to publish full third-quarter earnings on Sept. 24.

Reuters

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