H&M, fashion, retail, sales growth, currency

Finance / Sales growth dip for H&M amid ‘tough market conditions’

Sales growth dip for H&M amid ‘tough market conditions’

Fashion chain H&M has reported slowing sales growth after it faced a tough start to May across a number of its international markets.

The retail giant said sales rose 4% last month on a constant currency basis, down from growth of 7% in April.

This left overall second quarter sales growth to the end of May at 5%.

But H&M was boosted as currency movements flattered its earnings, with total second quarter sales excluding VAT up 10% at 51.4 billion Swedish crowns (£4.6 billion).

H&M, which has nearly 4,500 stores worldwide, said: “In the first half of the month sales were affected by tough market conditions in several countries.

“Sales improved considerably in the second half of the month.”

Its performance comes after bigger rival Inditex, which owns fast fashion chain Zara, posted figures on Wednesday showing constant current sales jumped 12.5% in its quarter to May 1.

H&M said it had expanded its global store base by 421 in the year to May to 4,498.

Adam Tomlinson, a retail analyst at Liberum, said: “In our view, the push for space growth is coming at the expense of margins.”

Chris Radburn/PA Wire