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H&M's fourth-quarter sales growth takes hit from later Black Friday

Net sales rose 9 per cent to 61.7 billion crowns ($6.41 billion) for the September-November quarter

Reuters  |  Stockholm 

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reported a slightly smaller-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter sales reflecting a later Black Friday this year, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer said on Monday.

Net sales rose 9 per cent to 61.7 billion crowns ($6.41 billion) for the September-November quarter, short of the 10 per cent rise to 62.0 billion crowns expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv SmartEstimates.

In local currencies, sales growth was 5 per cent, a slowdown from the previous quarter.

"Sales development for the quarter compared with the previous year was affected by calendar effects, mainly

because Black Friday this year fell a week later, i.e. just before the end of the month of November," said in a statement.

"Therefore some of the big Black Friday online sales will not be recognised until December. The amount in question is

expected to be approximately 500 million crowns."

said that adjusted for that, sales grew 10 per cent, or 6 per cent in local currencies.

In the preceding three months, H&M grew quarterly profit for the first time in more than two years as heavy spending to meet changes in the market helped sales reach 8 per cent growth in local currencies - a pace last seen three years ago.

H&M's shares have climbed 51 per cent this year on hopes the group has embarked on a road to recovery after slowing footfall at its core H&M-branded stores caused years of sliding group profits, mounting inventories and shrinking market value.

Analysts expect full-year profits to grow for the first time since 2015, despite still-high inventory and investment levels.

Full-year net sales were up 11 per cent to 232.8 billion crowns. H&M is scheduled to publish its full earnings report on Jan. 30.

($1 = 9.6261 Swedish crowns)



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First Published: Mon, December 16 2019. 14:44 IST