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H&M sales grow 23% YoY but shares slip on wider Ukraine impact

H&M reported a 23% rise in first quarter sales on Tuesday, which was in line with market expectations, as the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer attempts to build… View Article

FASHION

H&M sales grow 23% YoY but shares slip on wider Ukraine impact

H&M reported a 23% rise in first quarter sales on Tuesday, which was in line with market expectations, as the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer attempts to build on its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares in Sweden’s H&M, which did not give any comment in its statement, were down 3% in early trade as analysts focused on the potential impact of the Ukraine crisis on its business in Central and Eastern Europe and wider global repercussions.

Net sales in H&M’s fiscal first quarter from December through February, its seasonally slowest, were up by 18% in local currency terms, at 49.2 billion crowns ($5.13 billion), compared to an average forecast from analysts polled by Refinitiv of 49.1 billion crowns.

Credit Suisse said in a note the figures implied a slowdown in local-currency sales growth to around 14% in February, from the around 20% flagged previously for December-January.

H&M earlier this month temporarily closed its stores in Russia, which last quarter accounted for 4% of group sales, joining a growing list of international companies shunning the country over its invasion of Ukraine.

RBC analyst Richard Chamberlain said he had cut profit estimates for H&M for this year and next by around 10%, pointing to the Russia store closures but also the fact Central and Eastern Europe account for some 12% of group sales.

Credit Suisse analysts noted that while Russia accounts for a small share of H&M’s sales, the Ukraine crisis could result in a material effect on global disposable income and demand.

H&M will publish its full quarterly earnings report on March 31.

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