H&M slips out of fashion as first-quarter sales lag
H&M (HMb.ST), the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, reported on Wednesday a smaller-than-expected increase in sales over the period December to February, in the latest sign it is struggling to compete with Zara-owner Inditex.
Shares in H&M were down 6% in early trade, underperforming the wider Swedish market (.OMXSPI). Year-to-date they are still up 12%.
The Swedish group said sales measured in local currencies for the period, its fiscal first quarter, rose 3% from a year earlier.
Analysts at Jefferies said local-currency sales, the figures most watched by markets, were significantly lighter than consensus estimates and implied that sales in reality fell 3% in February.
H&M said net sales were up 12% from a year earlier to 54.9 billion crowns ($5.26 billion).
Excluding Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, the rise in net sales was 16%, and, in local currencies, 7%, the company said in a statement.
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