H&M sales rise despite slumping retail market

June sales for Swedish clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) beat all expectations, jumping 8 percent despite signs of a retail slowdown throughout much of Europe.

Sales in German clothing stores dropped 11 percent in June compared to figures from a year ago. But despite the weakening German market, which is H&M’s largest, the Swedish clothing giant managed to increase overall sales in June by 8 percent compared to last year.

However, June sales figures did suffer a 4 percent drop due to the summer retailing lull, and same-store turnover dropped 2 percent in compared with the same month a year ago.

“Sales in June was better than expected. It was really a positive sales figure and it has to do with higher growth, both locally and for comparable divisions, despite that the negative seasonal effects,” said Rolf Karp, a retail analyst at Öhman Fondkommission, to the TT news agency.

“The unexpected higher sales may be due to the fact that Hennes & Mauritz opened more new stores and that they had several sales earlier this year.”

The figures sent H&M stock up about 2.5 percent in morning trading on the Stockholm stock exchange.

By mid afternoon shares were trading at 289 kronor ($48.49) per share, up 0.7 percent for the day.