H&M Hennes & Mauritz recorded a weak March performance as cold weather and snow across Europe and North America dampened sales.

Recording its fifth month of sales declines, the retailer said sales fell 12% on a like-for-like basis and were down 4% over the month. Additionally, it admitted the cold weather has continued to impact sales in April.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Richard Chamberlain said this "raises some concern about additional markdown impact" in the second quarter, but that he expects "some pent up demand to come through for spring fashions as temperatures normalise".

H&M emphasised that it recorded "very strong" comparable sales in March 2012, when sales increased 26% and were up 16% on a comparable basis.

"In March last year, the weather conditions were favourable for the season while the reverse was true in March 2013 with unusually cold weather and snow in many markets, particularly in Europe and North America," the company said.

"This has delayed the start of the season for the spring collections and sales have been negatively affected. The unusually cold weather has continued also in April, primarily in Europe."