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H&M group transformation bears further fruit

H&M group increased its net sales by 11% to SEK171,061m (£14bn) in the nine months to 31 August, as it continues to grow its market share.

Profit after financial items grew by 6% to SEK11,988m (£987m), while its gross profit increased 11% to SEK89,166m (£7.3bn) for the period. 

The group said it was “on the right track” with its transformation work, which began last year and has ”contributed to continued positive sales development with more full-price sales, lower markdowns and increased market share”.

During the nine-month period, it consolidated its store portfolio in established markets and expanded in growth markets.

Approximately 170 stores will have closed by the end of 2019, however 290 new stores including franchises are planned to open. More than 220 of these will be H&M stores. 

The group launched on new channels during the nine months to 31 August, including introducing & Other Stories to Chinese ecommerce platform Tmall. 

H&M group CEO Karl-Johan Persson said: ”Well-received summer collections and increased market share show that we are on the right track with our transformation work to meet customers’ ever-increasing expectations.

”Growth was good in many markets, including the US where sales in local currencies rose by 19%, Poland by 20%, Italy by 15%, Russia by 12% and India by 29%. However, things were a bit tougher in some of our franchise markets due to challenging macro factors.

He added: ”Customer focus is our highest priority. We are therefore continuing to invest in the best combination of fashion, quality, price and sustainability. And to make the customer experience even more inspiring and easy, we are integrating our digital and physical channels more and more – including through the continued rollout of click and collect, and online returns in store, along with improved search functions, more flexible payment options and faster deliveries.

”We are also developing innovative new features, including services aimed at sustainability and reuse.”

The group previously reported a 12% year-on-year net sales growth in the three months to 31 August, but annual profits were down 74% at its UK arm during the period.

 

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