Swedish fashion retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz today (15 June) booked a 3% rise in May sales at stores open more than a year, bouncing back after weather dampened demand for its spring fashions the month before.

The company, which operates 2,575 stores, said total group sales including VAT in local currencies increased by 12% compared to May last year.

The figures contributed to a 2% rise in sales in comparable units in the second quarter - which includes store, internet and catalogue sales in countries that have been in operation for at least a financial year.

Total sales including VAT in the three months to 31 May were up by 12% in local currencies. Quarterly sales amounted to SEK31.66bn (US$4.5bn), up from SEK27.63bn a year earlier.

May's results contrast with a 10% slump in H&M comparable sales in April - the first fall reported by the retailer since November last year and the biggest drop since August 2009.

Earlier this week H&M rival Inditex SA, owner of the Zara chain, reported a 15% rise in first quarter net sales to EUR3.4bn, driven by strong growth in emerging markets, and especially Asia.