Swedish retailer H&M posts double digit sales growth in H1

22 June 2012 (Last Updated June 22nd, 2012 02:00)

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has posted double digit sales growth in the six months to May 2012 and plans to expand retail store network during the full-year.

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has posted double digit sales growth in the six months to May 2012 and plans to expand retail store network during the full-year.

In the first half-year (H1), the group's sales, including VAT, increased 12% in local currencies, while comparable store sales, were up by 3% during the period.

Excluding VAT, sales amounted to SEK59.49bn ($8.53bn), an increase of 14% from the first six months of previous financial year.

Profit after financial items jumped 16% to SEK10.75bn ($1.54bn) in the December 2011-May 2012 period, while group profit after tax totalled SEK7.96bn ($1.14bn) in the same period.

H&M chief executive officer Karl-Johan Persson said that the company's expansion plan remains intact.

"We plan to open around 275 new stores net during the full-year," Persson added.

"We continue to open new stores in all current markets and we will add five new markets during the year: Bulgaria, Mexico, Latvia, Malaysia and Thailand.

"In addition, online sales will be launched in the autumn in the US, the world's largest online market."

In the second quarter, the group's sales, including VAT, rose 12% in local currencies, while comparable sales grew 2% in the period.

Excluding VAT, sales amounted to SEK31.66bn ($4.54bn), an increase of 15% from the corresponding quarter last year.

Gross profit amounted to SEK19.54bn ($2.80bn) in the reporting quarter, while profit after financial items was up by 23% to SEK7.05bn ($1.01bn) and group profit after tax totalled SEK5.22bn ($748.53m).

"The spring collections have been well received by our customers as shown by our increased market share in a fashion retail market that continues to be challenging."

H&M will open stores in five new markets in 2012 and so far singed store contracts for openings in Estonia and Indonesia markets.

Founded in 1947, the group includes H&M, H&M Home, COS, Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday brands, and operates over 2,500 stores in 44 markets.