H&M beats forecasts as currency movements work in its favour

Kasmira Jefford
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Actress Olivia Wilde models H&M’s recent environmentally conscious clothing range
Swedish fashion retailer H&M posted a bigger-than expected jump in sales in May, helped by weakness of the Swedish crown against other international currencies.

H&M has benefitted from a recovering US economy, a stronger online presence and a broader product offering, which includes new brands such as & Other Stories and sales of homeware.

Sales at the world’s second biggest fashion chain rose by 10 per cent in the last month of its second quarter on a local currency basis, beating analyst forecasts of around eight per cent growth.

As a result, second-quarter sales totalled 45.9bn Swedish krona (£3.6bn), up 21 per cent from a year earlier, which was ahead of forecasts of 44.7bn krona.

The company said crown weakness against most of its sales currencies had a substantial positive effect on reported sales.

Including value-added tax (VAT), sales were up 10 per cent in local currencies and up 20 per cent in crowns.

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