H&M has around 4,000 stores worldwide and plans to continue its global expansion
Stockholm - AFP
Swedish clothing retailer Hennes et Mauritz (H&M) on Wednesday posted first quarter profits down almost 30 percent on a strong dollar and mild weather hitting its winter collection.
The Stockholm-based fast fashion firm said December through February profits came in at 2.54 billion kronor (275 million euros/$310 million), down from 3.61 billion a year earlier albeit slightly ahead of analysts' forecasts.
Sales were up 8.5 percent year-on-year or nine percent in local currency terms at 43.7 billion kronor compared with a 15 percent rise in the first quarter 2015.
The results "reflect more expensive supply given the (strong) dollar and increased discounting due to high volume of unsold merchandise in winter collections following a mild wwinter," CEO Karl-Johan Persson said.
With a sizeable proportion of production costs linked to the dollar the currency effect is likely to weigh on second-quarter results before fading away from the third quarter on, H&M predicted.
The chain is to continue its recent international expansion by taking its global store base count past 4,000 this month -- double 2010 -- by opening a store in India.
Further expansion is planned in the months ahead in South Africa, Switzerland and Hungary.