Profits on the rise at Sweden’s H&M

Sweden's cheap'n chic fashion chain H&M on Thursday reported strong profit gains for the fourth quarter, bringing a welcome change to the stream of otherwise gloomy economic news.

Hennes & Mauritz said its year to November 2008 net profit rose 12.5 percent from a year earlier to 15.29 billion kronor ($ 1.89 billion) with sales up 13 percent at 88.53 billion kronor.

For the three months to November, net profit rose 9.4 percent to 5.08 billion kronor on sales of 26.3 billion kronor, up 15.3 percent.

The company, known for its cheap but fashionable clothing, said growth and development opportunities were positive and it expected to create between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs in the current year.

“The figures in general were better than expected,” Anders Wiklund, analyst at Evli bank, told AFP:

“I think they will (do) quite well because the low price strategy will benefit them. People who … have been shopping in more expensive stores will move down to H&M’s stores,” Wiklund said, adding, however, that the first quarter of this year “could be quite tough.”


Swedish retailer H&M sees profits slump after Russia exit

Swedish fashion retailer H&M reportedĀ a sizeable drop in third-quarter profit on Thursday following its decision to leave the Russian market.

Swedish retailer H&M sees profits slump after Russia exit

The world’s number two clothing group is among a slew of Western companies that have exited Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

H&M paused all sales in the country in March and announced in July that it would wind down operations, although it would reopen stores for “a limited period of time” to offload its remaining inventory.

The company said Thursday its net profit fell to 531 million kronor ($47 million) in the third quarter, down 89 percent from the same period last year. “The third quarter has largely been impacted by our decision to pause sales and then wind down the business in Russia,” chief executive Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

The group said in its earnings statement that it would launch cost-cutting measures that would result in savings totalling two billion kronor.