H&M states that unusually hot weather in Europe has delayed the start of the A/W23 shopping season, which has inflicted in the Swedish retailers September sales.
According to the Swedish company, September sales were down 10% year-on-year. H&M’s main rival, Zara owner Inditex, reported an increase in sales between August 1 and September 11 on approximately 14%.
“If the sales at your competitor basically go up by 14% with the same weather, that tells you something,” said Vera Diehl, portfolio manager at Union Investment. Diehl holds shares in both H&M and Inditex.
Operating profit in the June-to-August period, the group’s third quarter, was 4.74 billion SEK against 902 million SEK in the same period last year.
Last years figure includes a one-off cost of 2.1 billion SEK for the group’s exit from Russia. This also accounted for 4 percentage points of the 10% September sales decline, H&M states.
The company stick to its goal of increasing operating margin to 10% by the end of next year. The company also states, that its cost-cutting program is continuing “at full speed”.