H&M: June confirms slow-down in sales
In June, the first month of the second half of the fiscal year, the H&M group enjoyed an 8% increase in sales. It was a much lower growth rate than in previous years, coming after a disappointing first half of the fiscal year.
Sales for H&M stores had in fact increased in local currency by 14% in June 2015, 12% in June 2014 and 13% the year before that. Enough to confirm the slump in growth, whose first signs were felt from the start of this year. In the first six months of the fiscal year in fact, sales grew 9%, compared to 15% a year earlier. Also, sales grew by 5% in the second quarter, compared to 11% a year earlier. "Substantially below our forecasts," admitted General Manager Karl Johan Persson.
Profit figures are very carefully scrutinised now. They fell by 30% in the December-February quarter, due to the dollar's strength and sizeable stocks. Then there was a new, 17% decline in the following quarter, caused by cold temperatures in spring on the European markets.
The H&M group reported for its fiscal year closed at the end of November 2015 a figure of €22.7 billion in sales, equivalent to a 19% rise (+11% in local currencies). The group is planning to open 425 new stores in the current year. As of the end of June, H&M operated 4,095 stores, compared to 3,642 a year earlier.
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