Swedish fashion giant H&M beat analysts’ sales expectations in the fourth quarter of the year.
Net sales in the three months to November 30 increased 10 percent to 62.4 billion Swedish Krona (5.7 billion euros). That growth was slightly higher than the 9.5 percent sales increase analysts had expected, according to analysts polled by Refinitiv.
But H&M added that in local currencies, net sales were unchanged compared with the same quarter last year. Excluding Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine the increase was 11 percent in Swedish krona and 2 percent in local currencies.
Around 25 to 50 stores in China were temporarily closed due to new Covid outbreaks during the quarter.
For the full year, net sales were up 12 percent to 223.6 billion Swedish krona. In local currencies, net sales increased by 6 percent. Excluding Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine the increase was 15 percent in Swedish krona and 8 percent in local currencies.
H&M Group’s operations in Russia and Belarus were wound up during the fourth quarter, with the remaining stock being sold off and the last stores having closed on November 30.
In November, the group said it would cut 1,500 jobs as part of a previously announced plan to reduce costs and improve efficiency across the business.
The cost-cutting programme, which will also see the retailer cut other administrative and overhead costs, was expected to result in a restructuring charge of just over 800 million Swedish krona in the fourth quarter.
But it is expected to save the business some 2 billion Swedish krona annually from the third quarter onwards.