The company – better known by its initials, H&M – faces stiff competition from global rivals such as Gap and Inditex. However, it has weathered the downturn better than many rivals thanks to its geographic spread and low-price profile. After undershooting sales forecasts for the last three months of its financial year, which runs November, H&M turned a corner in December with a 3 per cent rise in same-store sales.
That was the first positive result for same-store sales since April 2009, and the strong momentum appeared to carry over to January when sales increased by 13 per cent compared year on year.
H&M also outperformed with a fourth-quarter gross margin of 66.3 per cent.