H&M posts first quarter sales growth
H&M has increased its first quarter sales despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in many of its major markets.
In the three months to 28 February the fashion retailer saw its net sales climb by 18%, but when converted into Swedish kronor the growth was 23%.
Meanwhile, net sales in the period 1 to 28 March 2022 edged up 6% in local currencies compared with the corresponding period last year. Excluding Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, where all stores are closed, the increase was 11%.
During the period, H&M continued to expand into more markets which included the opening of a first H&M store in Cambodia via a franchise. The retailer is also planning to enter Ecuador, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Costa Rica and Guatemala this year.
Helena Helmersson, H&M Group chief executive, said: “Having ended last year with sales back at the same level as before the pandemic and in a strong financial position, we started the new year with increased initiatives to create an even better foundation for long-term growth. The initiatives mainly involve continuing to develop the customer experience by, for example, further broadening the assortment and integrating the sales channels, and by continuing to invest in infrastructure such as tech and the supply chain, but also in renewable energy and sustainable materials.”
In addition to disruption and delays within its supply chain, H&M said some of its major markets were impacted by the new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Helmersson added: “Despite this we saw a recovery of sales in physical stores compared with last year, while online sales continued to perform well. This shows the value of having both physical and digital channels which strengthen and complement each other. Well-received collections led to full-price sales continuing to increase which led to more than expected decrease of markdowns.”
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