H&M India sales grow 87 per cent to SEK 1179 million

H&M India

H&M said it expects sales between December 1 and January 31 to increase by just 1 percent in local currencies, after a fall of 2 percent in the September to November quarter.

However, gross profit for the year increased by 1.8 per cent to SEK 108.1 billion (£9.76 billion), while annual sales including Value-Added Tax grew four per cent to SEK 232 billion (£20.8 billion). "In addition, some imbalances in certain aspects of the H&M brand's assortment and composition also contributed to this weaker result", said Karl-Johan Persson, H&M CEO in a statement. "This is presenting many challenges but we believe we are well placed to adjust to the new dynamics and take advantage of the opportunities in front of us". We delivered growth of 3 percent in 2017, which is clearly below our expectations. 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017, was 3.99 billion Swedish kronor ($506 million), compared with SEK5.91 billion a year earlier, in line with expectations of SEK3.94 billion according to a FactSet poll. In the fourth quarter our sales overall decreased by 2% in local currencies.

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On its plans for online expansion in new markets, H&M said it "will continue in 2018 to among others India and via franchise partners to Saudi Arabia and the UAE".

It also said it would start selling the H&M and H&M Home brands on e-commerce platform Tmall in March.

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In 2017, H&M added 388 new stores in its network totaling to 4,739 in 69 markets. However, full year sales rose 4% in 2017, to SEK231.8 billion, from 2016's SEK222.9 billion.

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB (ST:HM-B) saw its share price drop more than 10% during trading on Jan 31, amid investor concerns regarding the company's plan to close more stores this year than any year in the past two decades. Zara's parent Inditex SA operates the brand in India in a joint venture with the Tata Group. The online store is now available in 44 markets and will soon be available in India and via franchise partners to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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This year, the clothing retailer expects to close 170 shops and open a total of 390 new ones, the biggest number of store closures since at least 1998. For H&M, the 220 net new stores will be the lowest level since 2010 and the 2018 store growth rate of 4.6% will be nearly 62% lower than the 12% average growth rate since 1999.

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