Mixed first quarter for high street giant H&M

H&M: Mixed quarter. Picture: H&M
H&M: Mixed quarter. Picture: H&M
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H&M, the Swedish firm that ranks as the second-biggest fashion retailer in the world, saw its first-quarter sales grow as it continued to expand with new shops and increased online trade.

Quarterly net profit came under pressure, however, after being impacted by “a continued very negative US dollar” and by increased markdowns.

The group which includes brands like COS, Monki and Cheap Monday, said it plans about 425 additional stores in existing markets this year, adding that its 4,000th store would be opening this month, in New Delhi.

By December, H&M will have an extra 11 online markets, taking the Stockholm-based group to 34 in all.

Analysts at Haitong Research noted: “The overall out-turn in the first quarter will we believe be acceptable to investors given the higher degree of gearing of profits in what is the smallest profit quarter for H&M.”

Zara owner Inditex is the world’s biggest clothing firm.