Challenging times for H & M HENNES & MAURITZ AB
First half-year results also impacted by substantial negative currency translation
For the period 1st December 2012 – 31st May 2013 the H&M Group’s sales including VAT increased in local currencies by 5%. Sales in comparable units decreased by 4%. Converted into SEK, sales excluding VAT amounted to SEK 60,027m (59,491), an increase of 1%.
Substantial negative currency translation effects and long-term investments during the period make it difficult to compare the results with the corresponding period last year.
Sales have made a good start in June. Sales increased by 14% in local currencies in the period 1st June – 17th June 2013 compared to the same period last year.
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO, commented, “The second quarter has been a period of intense activity, with the opening of nearly 100 new stores. We have for example, opened our first store in the southern hemisphere in South America – in Santiago de Chile. The store has had a fantastic reception from customers. We are continuing our strong expansion in Asia where we now have 200 stores and where we are now starting to establish our newer brands like COS and Monki.
“Although sales remained strong in Asia, overall sales were not satisfactory mainly due to the continued challenging situation for the fashion retail industry as well as unfavourable weather in March and a couple of weeks into April in many of our big markets.
“The fantastic response that our new brand & Other Stories has had from customers is one example of an investment that has already borne fruit. During the quarter we opened our first seven stores of this new brand, in cities such as London, Paris and Milan. COS continues to perform very well and the strong expansion of the brand continues both in existing markets and in new markets such as Turkey and Switzerland, where we will be opening COS stores in the autumn.
“There is great potential in the growing online market. We are looking forward to launching our online sales in the US in August. In parallel, we are continuing our work on the global roll-out of H&M’s online store, with the aim of adding several new online countries during 2014.”
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