Q3 saw H&M Group’s sales recovering somewhat and on Tuesday, the Swedish retail giant reported sales from June 1 to August 31 down only 16% year-on-year in local currencies. Converted to SEK, net sales fell by a wider 19%, however, to SEK50.870 billion (€4.8bn/£4.5bn/$5.8bn).
Sales are clearly still reflecting the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and at the start of the quarter, around 900 of the group’s more than 5,000 stores were temporarily closed. While many more have since opened, by quarter-end, 200 were still shut.
But the company is upbeat and said that a strong reaction to its collections and its own rapid actions mean the group’s recovery has been better than expected and this has halted its earlier losses.
“More full-price sales, combined with strong cost control, enabled the company to turn to profit in the third quarter,” it said. Preliminary results show profit before tax should be as much as SEK2 billion.
The figures are only preliminary and we won’t get a definitive set of numbers until the firm reports its Q3 and nine month results on October 1.