H&M 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," H&M 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."
H&M 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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