H&M's sales growth weakest in two years
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.