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H&M fourth quarter sales miss expectations

By Ramla Soni

H&M sales were short of the 10 per cent rise to 62.0 billion crowns expected by analysts in the fourth quarter - possibly due to a later Black Friday

H&M sales slightly missed expectations with net sales rising 9 per cent to 61.7bn crowns ($6.41bn, €5.75bn, £6.41bn) for the September-November quarter, the Swedish fashion retailer reported.

This was short of the 10 per cent rise to 62.0bn crowns expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv SmartEstimates.

In local currencies, sales growth was 5 per cent, a slowdown from the previous quarter.

H&M said its sales development was affected by “calendar effects”, mainly due to Black Friday this year falling a week later, just before the end of the month of November.

“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,” said a statement for the company.

Adjusted for this amount, sales in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased by 10 per cent and in local currencies by 6 per cent compared with the previous year.

H&M’s shares have climbed 51 per cent this year on hopes the group is recovering after slowing footfall at its core H&M-branded stores caused years of sliding group profits shrinking market value.

Full-year net sales were up 11 per cent to 232.8 billion crowns.

The company’s complete fourth-quarter report will be published on January 30.

Further reading: H&M group to test out clothing rental with COS in China

Further reading: American shoppers are expected to drop a record $4.4bn online on Black Friday

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