Swedish budget fashion chain H&M sees revenue increase by 21 per cent, profit up 11 per cent

STOCKHOLM – Swedish budget fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz AB says its second-quarter revenue increased 21 per cent to 45.9 billion kronor ($5.6 billion), despite an unusually cold spring in many of its European markets.

The three-month net profit was at 6.5 billion kronor ($788 million), up 11 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

CEO Karl-Johan Persson said Thursday the Stockholm-based group continued its expansion. In the spring,H&M opened eight new online markets and still aims to open about 400 new stores by year’s end.

“In parallel with our online expansion, we are continuing to open stores at a fast pace,” Persson said.

He highlighted the opening of the group’s first shop in Lima, Peru, and an H&M’s flagship store that opened on Herald Square in New York, which will be one of the group’s largest stores in the U.S. Most new stores in 2015 are planned in China and the US.

Germany remains H&M’s largest market, followed by the United States, Britain, China and Sweden.

The company’s stock fell more than 7percent to 332.6 kronor in morning trading in Stockholm.

As of July, the group will roll out H&M Beauty with makeup, body and hair care in 900 stores in 40 markets and online. Persson said it was an “example of all the investments we are making in order to broaden H&M’s product range even further.”

Persson cautioned that a number of factors, including uncertainties related to fashion, weather conditions and negative macro-economic changes, may affect H&M’s results and business.

Founded in 1947, H&M is known for its fashionable, low-price collections for mainstream consumers. It has more than 3,600 stores worldwide. Its brands also include higher-priced COS and urban fashion labels such as Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and & Other Stories.