H&M blames freezing weather as sales fall again in March

Kasmira Jefford
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SWEDISH retail giant H&M said sales slumped in March, blaming the unusually cold weather and snow, particularly in Europe and North America.

Like-for-like sales fell 12 per cent compared to the same month last year, slightly worse than consensus forecasts for a 11 per cent fall.

Total sales were down four per cent in the period.

The world’s second largest retailer, which lags behind Zara owner Inditex, said the cold snap continued into April, primarily in Europe where it operates the bulk of its business.

“This has delayed the start of the season for the spring collections and sales have been negatively affected,” Karl-Johan Persson, H&M’s managing director said in a statement.

The group also highlighted it was up against tough comparatives on March last year, when the weather was unusually warm and like-for-like sales rose 16 per cent.