H&M turns corner with forecast-beating profit
Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz looked to put a poor run of form behind it yesterday as it posted forecast-beating results for its fiscal third quarter, helped by strong demand for its summer collections and cost control.
H&M, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer which has most of its stores in Europe, has suffered more in a faltering global economy than bigger rival, Zara-owner Inditex, which sells more clothes in emerging markets. Performance earlier in the year was hit by a chilly spring in Europe.
H&M posted its first quarterly rise in gross profit margin in more than three years to 58.8pc from 58.2pc a year earlier, beating a Reuters poll forecast of 57.9pc. Pre-tax profits also beat expectations. Inditex reported a drop in first-half gross margin to 58.6pc last week.
"H&M has really turned a corner here," said Societe Generale analyst Anne Critchlow.