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H&M profits, sales beat forecast in second quarter

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Swedish fashion retailer H&M posted stronger-than-expected sales and profits in the second quarter yesterday as shoppers splurged in stores and online.

The company, however, warned that “many challenges remain”, including soaring global inflation, supply chain bottlenecks and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

H&M’s net profit soared by 33 per cent to SEK3.7 billion between March and May compared to the same period last year, while sales surged 17 per cent to SEK54.5 billion despite stopping sales in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

“Well-received collections led to strong development, with a further increase in full-price sales and decrease in markdowns,” H&M CEO Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

Shoppers returned to stores as Covid restrictions have been lifted in most parts of the world.

“Sales in physical stores increased substantially while online continues to do well. This once again shows the value of having both physical and digital channels which strengthen and complement each other,” she said.

Helmersson said disruption and delays in the supply chain are “gradually” being eased, but there is “substantial inflation”.

“The situation associated with the war in Ukraine and its consequences for our business are continually being evaluated,” the CEO said. “We are actively looking at various options to find solutions that give consideration to customers and colleagues as well as the impact on the business as a whole.”

An H&M store in New York. PHOTO: AP