Fashioning growth but H&M trails bigger rival Inditex

H&M's spring fashion line 2013
H&M's spring fashion line 2013
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Revenue at the world’s second-largest fashion retailer, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), rose by 10 per cent this year, lagging forecast growth at larger rival Inditex, which is less exposed to the downturn in Europe.

Figures published yesterday showed turnover for the whole year reached SKr120.8 billion (£3bn), despite the bulk of the Swedish firm’s business being in crisis-hit Europe.

On a like-for-like basis, sales were down 1 per cent in November, the final month of the firm’s financial year, beating analysts’ expectations. It followed a 5 per cent dip in October.

Credit Suisse analyst Simon Irwin said the sales may have been made at the expense of margin as the retailer cut prices to shift stock.

H&M still trails its major rival, Inditex, as the Spanish owner of Zara is forecast to post a 16 per cent rise in sales in the year to 31 January.

Inditex has a larger share of sales than H&M in faster-growing emerging markets and is less exposed to cost inflation in Asia.