H&M sales still lag behind pre-pandemic levels as restrictions bite

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The H&M clothing store is seen in Times Square in Manhattan, New York, the United States, November 15, 2019. REUTERS / Mike Segar / File Photo

  • H&M net sales remain below pre-pandemic levels
  • Net sales from June to August up 9% year on year
  • Sales in local currency up 14% year-on-year

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 15 (Reuters) – Sales at fashion retailer H&M (HMb.ST) rose less than expected in the three months ending in late August, remaining below pre-pandemic levels as restrictions pushed back shop buyers.

The Swedish group said on Wednesday that its sales rose 9% from the previous year, or 14% in local currency, to 55.6 billion crowns ($ 6.46 billion). Analysts polled by Refinitiv are forecasting net sales growth of 14% on average. Read more

Net sales of the world’s second-largest fashion retailer fell 11% from the same quarter of 2019 before the pandemic, when they stood at Kroner 62.6 billion.

H&M, whose shares were down 3% at the start of trading, said the pandemic continued to hit sales, with considerable variation between markets.

“Lockdowns and restrictions continued to hamper development, particularly in Asia. However, as restrictions were relaxed, in-store sales increased in many markets while online sales continued to expand. increase, ”he said.

H&M returned to profit in its April-June quarter after losing a year earlier due to the pandemic, with sales 4% higher than in 2019. But sales slowed towards the end of the trimester. Read more

H&M’s takeover has lagged behind market leader Inditex (ITX.MC), the owner of Zara, which on Wednesday announced a 7% increase in sales in May-July compared to the same period in 2019.

H&M, which is due to release its full third quarter financial report on September 30, said its recovery continues with more full-price sales and good cost control.

He said about 100 stores were temporarily closed at the end of the quarter, up from around 180 at the start, with continued restrictions in most markets resulting in reduced footfall.

($ 1 = 8.6130 Swedish kronor)

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Niklas Pollard and Edmund Blair

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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