H&M's Q3 sales trail expectations, but autumn season starts more strongly
In a very brief release on Thursday, H&M Group said it saw a rise in Q3 sales. But it also saw a local currencies sales fall and the figures were worse than expected.
The June to August period was still a positive one for the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, but net sales were up only 3% from a year-earlier at SEK57.5 billion ($5.36 billion). Analysts had predicted a rise of around 5%.
Meanwhile, in local currencies, sales were down as much as 4%.
The company said that Q3 had “got off to a weak start, in common with the industry in many of the group’s major markets. Sales improved sequentially during the quarter, with a better start for the autumn collections than last year”.
That last point is encouraging, especially given that there are widespread fears that trading for fashion retailers could deteriorate in the months ahead due to the cost-of-living crisis that’s hitting consumers in many countries.
Fashion as a whole seems to have held up fairly well so far this year, but there are worries that steeper price rises and a focus by consumers on essentials could send sales into reverse. H&M is clearly confident it has the product consumers want for the autumn season so it’s operating from a position of strength.
The company will report its full nine-months results on 29 September.
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