H&M on Tuesday reported a sales increase of 12 percent to £5.07bn wheres its like-for-like sales remained flat. Sales excluding VAT in the third quarter amounted to SEK 20,871 m (18,707), an increase of 12 percent. Sales including VAT were SEK 24,540 m (22,032), in local currencies sales increased by 10 percent and decreased by 1 percent in comparable units.
During the first nine months, the Group opened 85 stores and 9 stores were closed. In addition, 7 Weekday-stores and 13 Monki-stores have been consolidated through H&M’s acquisition of Fabric Scandinavien AB. The total number of stores in the Group as per 31 August 2008 thus amounted to 1,618 of which 12 are franchise stores.
H&M said that cutting prices helped boost sales in the third quarter which was affected by weaker retail business in most markets. The result was a 0.4 percentage point drop in gross margin to 60.8%.