Belfast Telegraph

H&M feels chill after mild weather hits their sales

By Margaret Canning

The mild autumn resulted in a slump of almost one third in profits for Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M, which has eight stores in Northern Ireland.

There was a 29% drop in underlying profits to 3.3bn Swedish krona (£286m) - compared to SEK 4.72bn the year before.

The world's second biggest clothing retailer, after Zara owner Inditex, said profits for the three months ending February 2016 were eaten into after the strong dollar made purchasing more expensive.

There were also markdowns on a surplus of winter clothing left over after the warmer than expected autumn.

Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said: "Sales including Vat in the first quarter amounted to almost SEK 51bn and profit before tax to just over SEK 3.3 billion.

"In local currencies, sales increased by 9%, which was slightly below plan. This should be seen in the light of a very good first quarter last year, when sales increased by 15% in local currencies and profits in SEK increased by 35%."

Today the company launches an affordable wedding dress line as part of its Conscious Exclusive range, as worn by Julia Restoin Roitfeld (left). The range is available in Dublin, but not Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph