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H&M profits plunge in “tough” start to year

H&M Group has blamed extreme weather and a build-up of excess stock for a plunge in its first quarter profits.

Operating profit plummeted by 62% to 1.2bn SEK (£108m) for the first quarter, ending 28 February 2018.

Sweden’s H&M Group owns retailers including Weekday, & Other Stories and Cos alongside H&M.

Commenting on the results, Karl Johan Persson, CEO, said: “The start of the year has been tough. Weak sales in the fourth quarter, partly caused by imbalances in the assortment for the H&M brand, resulted in the need for substantial clearance Sales in the first quarter.

“The high level of clearance Sales combined with unusually cold winter weather had a negative impact on the sales of the spring garments. The weak sales development combined with substantial markdowns had a significant negative impact on results in the first quarter.”

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