PARIS – Sales are still “flattish” at H&M Group.
The Swedish group reported sales remained mostly the same in local currencies year-over-year in the three months to Aug. 31. The results maintained the trend also reported in Q2, when the company blamed slow sales on the wet European spring.
In reported terms, sales increased by 6 percent to 60.89 billion Swedish kronor, or 5.12 billion euros at current exchange. The Swedish currency has seen a 17.5 percent slide against the euro over the past year, and reached an all-time low against the currency in June.
Excluding Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, the increase was 8 percent in Swedish kronor, it added. H&M Group fully exited Russia in July 2022 following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. That move had “significant negative impact on our results” and cost the company upwards of 218 million euros, as reported in financial statements back in January.
The group’s activities in Ukraine remain suspended.
“The work towards the company’s goal of reaching a 10 percent operating margin in 2024 is going in the right direction. Profitability and inventory levels have been prioritized in the quarter,” the company said in a statement.
That once again puts the Swedish fast-fashion group, which operates Cos, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday and Arket alongside its cornerstone H&M brand, in contrast to competitor Inditex. The Spanish group, which operates Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius and Oysho, reported sales growth of 14 percent between Aug. 1 and Sept. 11.
The company will have a fuller picture of activities in Q3 when it releases its complete nine-month report on Sept. 27.