Hennes and Mauritz's sales down 3pc
SALES at the 11 stores operated in Ireland by the global Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) fell 3pc year on year to €26.6m, including VAT, in the six-month period to the end of May, the company reported yesterday.
H&M's sales at the Irish stores were down 11pc when converted to Swedish kronor, as the euro weakened against the currency during the past year.
In the quarter to the end of May, sales at Irish outlets were down 1pc in euro terms and 11pc when translated to kronor, at SK127m (€13.2m).
Europe's second largest clothing retailer, H&M reported an overall 4pc rise in group sales, excluding VAT, for the six-months in question to SK51.8bn (€5.4bn).
Profit after tax jumped 32pc to SK8.9bn (€930m).
In a statement to investors, H&M said the latest quarter started strongly in March but sales in April and May were affected by cold weather in most of the company's markets.
Shares in the company fell yesterday as the sales were lower than analysts had estimated. Sales fell on a local-currency basis in just three of the 37 countries where H&M operates -- Ireland, Belgium and Slovenia.
By contrast, sales in the United States jumped 22pc in dollar terms, by 15pc in the UK and 25pc in Italy.
H&M opened its first outlet in Ireland in 2005, at Dundrum in south Dublin.