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H&M's March-May sales tumble by less than expected 50%

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H&M, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, on Monday reported a sharp but slightly smaller than expected drop in second-quarter sales as measures to slow the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the sector.

[STOCKHOLM] H&M, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, on Monday reported a sharp but slightly smaller than expected drop in second-quarter sales as measures to slow the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the sector.

The Swedish company's net sales for the three months to May 31 fell 50per cent year on year to 28.7 billion crowns (S$4.32 billion). Analysts had on average forecast a fall to 27.5 billion, Refinitiv data shows.

H&M, which began a gradual reopening of stores in late April after about 80per cent had been shuttered by the pandemic, said that local-currency sales in the first 13 days of June were down 30per cent.

"The pace of the sales recovery varies largely between markets," it said.

Biggest rival Inditex, the owner of Zara, last week reported a loss on a 44 per cent sales drop for the February-April period and said that constant-currency sales were down 34 per cent over June 2-8.

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Shares in H&M, which on April 3 flagged that it would make its first quarterly loss in many decades in the second quarter, were down 24per cent this year at Friday's closing price.

H&M, which reports full quarterly earnings on June 26, said that 18 per cent of its 5,058 stores remain closed temporarily.

REUTERS

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