H&M currently operates 3,132 stores

H&M currently operates 3,132 stores

Europe's second-largest clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) saw its sales climb in the fourth quarter, helped by colder weather in November.

In the period to the end of November, sales including VAT were up 13% to SEK42.59bn (US$6.49bn). Comparable sales increased by 3%, the retailer reported today (16 December).

As of 30 November, H&M operated 3,132 stores compared to 2,776 in the same period last year.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Richard Chamberlain said some "pent up demand" came through in November owing to colder temperatures.

He added: "This represents a strong outperformance versus industry sales in some of H&M's major markets: eg Germany (+5% year-on-year), Sweden (+4% year-on-year), the UK...and a more challenging, promotional environment in the US.

"We think the Isabel Marant collection was well received in November, which may also have boosted sentiment towards the overall offer. In contrast to many other retailers we think H&M started its major online sale later this year but we think the timing of sales in store varied by market."

Full fourth-quarter sales figures will be published on 15 January, with the full year report to be published on 30 January.