H&M sales rise

Hennes & Mauritz, the world's second-largest fashion retailer, said on Friday sales at stores open a year or more rose three per cent in local currencies in May, beating a Reuters poll forecast for a one per cent drop.

Total sales in May, the last month of the Swedish budget apparel firm's fiscal second quarter, were up 12 per cent from a year earlier compared with a mean forecast for an eight per cent increase.

Turnover in the full March-May quarter grew 15 per cent from a year earlier to 31.7 billion Swedish crowns (£2.8bn), just topping a forecast for 31.3 billion crowns. H&M's regular quarterly earnings report is scheduled for 20 June.