H&M August sales hit by warm weather

Source:Reuters Published: 2012-9-18 0:15:12

World No.2 fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz on Monday posted an unexpected drop in like-for-like sales in August, blaming a heat wave in key European markets for keeping customers away from stores.

The Swedish budget apparel firm, which trails Zara owner Inditex by value and turnover, as well as by the number of markets and stores, said sales at stores open a year or more shrank 4 percent in local currencies in August.

"It was primarily the extreme heat wave in a number of European markets in August that affected sales negatively," H&M said in a statement.

DNB Markets analyst Haakon Aschehoug, who rates the stock a "hold," said the figures probably meant H&M, which has the bulk of business in Europe, lost market share in the month.

"We already know the (apparel sales) numbers from Sweden and Germany, and the US retail sales. This represents, in our view, an underperformance on the key markets of about 4 percent."


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