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H&M reports flat year revenues

H&M Group has reported flat like-for-likes for the year to November 30, although total group sales rose 6% as the business opened a further 356 net stores around the world.

Sales at the fast fashion giant totaled SEK128.5bn (£11.9bn) for the year, while pre-tax profit edged up 1.7% to SEK17.2bn (£1.6bn). H&M said profit had been affected by currency exchange rates. Gross margins fell slightly to 59.1%, down from 59.5%.

The business also reported its fourth quarter results, with sales in local currencies up 10%. This was not converted into Swedish Krona. Pre-tax profit rose 5.6% to SEK5.6bn (£523m), up from SEK5.3bn (£494m) last year.

It said it expected January sales to increase 15%.

Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said the fourth quarter figures were “a good result considering the substantial long-term investments that we are making in areas such as IT, online, new brands and broadening our product range”.

He added: “The financial year 2014 has got off to a good start, with strong sales development in December and January. Although there are still macro-economic challenges in several of our markets, we are optimistic about 2014 which will be an exciting year with new countries and new opportunities. We have a strong belief in our offering and are convinced that we will strengthen our market position even further during the year.”

H&M plans to open a further 375 stores in the coming year, launching in Australia and the Philippines for the first time.

The retailer is also launching online into four new markets, including France this spring/summer.

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