Sweden’s H&M Group’s net sales amounted to SEK 134,482 million in the first nine months of the financial year. Sales development was significantly affected by the COVID-19 situation, particularly in the second quarter when nearly four-fifths of the group’s stores were closed in most markets. The group plans to close around 250 stores in 2021.
Its net sales amounted to SEK 50,870 million in the third quarter. In local currencies, net sales decreased by 16 per cent. At the beginning of the third quarter, nearly 900 of the group’s more than 5,000 stores were temporarily closed. At the end of the quarter, just over 200 stores were temporarily closed.
The group’s liquidity remains good. As of 31 August, cash and cash equivalents amounted to SEK 12,138 million. Cash and cash equivalents plus undrawn credit facilities totalled SEK 41,413 million, the company reported.
Sales in September 2020 decreased by 5 per cent in local currencies compared with the same period last year. Currently, 166 stores, representing 3 per cent of the total number of stores, are closed. A large number of stores still have local restrictions and limited opening hours.
“As a result of much-appreciated collections together with rapid and decisive actions, our recovery is going better than expected. We have strong, profitable online growth, and more and more stores have been able to open again. With more full-price sales than expected and strict cost control, we returned to profit already in the third quarter…. Although the challenges are far from over, our assessment is that the worst is behind us and we are well placed to come out of the crisis stronger,” chief executive officer Helena Helmersson said in a statement.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)