Sep 15, 2011
H&M August sales top expectations
Sep 15, 2011
STOCKHOLM, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Swedish budget fashion group Hennes & Mauritz AB reported flat sales at established stores in August, easily topping forecasts that gloomy consumer sentiment would dent customers' appetite for new clothes. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a drop of 7.1 percent in like-for-like sales with the forecasts ranging from minus 10 to minus 5 percent.
The world No. 2 apparel retailer after Zara owner Inditex said on Thursday total August turnover, which includes stores opened in the past year, was up 8 percent in local currencies, beating expectations for a 2.3 percent increase.
Last year, total August sales rose 24 percent at the group, while sales in comparable units were up 14 percent.
Like-for-like sales at H&M, which sells the bulk of its clothes in Europe, often roughly match developments in its largest market, Germany. Clothing sales there rose 1 percent in the month, according to industry journal Textilwirtschaft.
Turnover in the June-August period, H&M's fiscal third quarter, totalled 26,9 billion Swedish crowns($3,99 bln) excluding VAT. H&M will publish full third-quarter results on Sept. 29.
H&M, with some 2,300 stores in 41 countries and plans for 250 more stores in the fiscal year of 2010/11, does not release absolute monthly sales figures, only the percentage change, and does not comment on the figures. ($1 = 6.750 Swedish Kronas) (Reporting by Veronica Ek; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)
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