H&M sales grew 10% in March

H&M sales grew 10% in March

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz H&M has seen its shares climb today (14 April) after booking its 24th consecutive month of sales growth.

Group sales, including VAT, increased 10% in local currencies, compared to the same month last year. This was above the 15% rise it saw in February, representing the retailer's sixth consecutive month of double-digit gains, and was better than Reuters analyst forecasts of a 7.5% gain.

Stifel analyst Richard Jaffe attributed the sales growth to favourable customer response to the company’s trend-right, value priced merchandise, and a weakening Swedish krona against most countries’ currencies.

He added that despite the likely increase in purchasing costs from a stronger dollar exchange rate between the second and fourth quarters, Jaffe believes H&M is unlikely to pass this on to customers in order to be the lower-cost provider and gain market share. "We view this as the correct strategy for the company but acknowledge the near-term pressure on earnings," he noted.

The owner of the H&M, Cos, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, and & Other Stories banners, operated 3,580 stores on 31 March, up from 3,216 in the same period a year ago.

H&M's share price was up 1.3% to SEK357.40 (US$40.64) at 10:06am this morning.