Retailer H&M’s like-for-likes ease worries

City A.M. Reporter
SWEDISH clothing giant, Hennes & Mauritz yesterday posted a smaller than expected drop in like-for-like sales for November compared to same month last year, easing fears of large markdowns to reduce unsold stock amid weak demand in key markets.

The retailer said local-currency sales at stores open a year or more shrank one per cent in the last month of its financial year.

This was better than the three per cent drop predicted by analysts following a drop of five per cent in October.

There had been some concern among analysts because industry data showed that clothing sales in Germany, H&M’s single biggest market, were down five per cent in November.

H&M, the world’s second-biggest clothing retailer behind Zara owner Inditex, has the bulk of its business in Europe, where a sovereign debt crisis and austerity measures have dampened demand.

Turnover in the full September to November quarter grew five per cent from a year earlier to 32.5bn Swedish Krona (£3bn), matching expectations.