H&M sales and profits continue to be disrupted by pandemic

H&M has said that in the first quarter of the year its sales and profits have been “impacted by the negative effects” of the pandemic in many of its major markets.

The retailer explained that increased growth-related initiatives, particularly within technology and supply chain, also effected its finances.

H&M chief executive Helena Helmersson told Reuters that the retailer would need to adjust prices due to inflation and increased material and transportation costs.

"We'll raise different product types in different countries depending on competition and demand,” she said.

Between 1 December 2021 and 28 February 2022, sales growth was up 18 per cent.

The company says that despite the negative impact of coronavirus in the past few months, popular collections led to higher share of full-price sales and lower costs for markdowns.

When converted into SEK, the group’s net sales increased by 23 per cent to SEK 49,166 million (around £4 million).

In March, net sales were up by six per cent in local currencies. It said excluding Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine – where the company has paused all sales and closed 185 stores – the increase was 11 per cent.

“Having ended last year with sales back at the same level as before the pandemic and in a strong financial position, we started the new year with increased initiatives to create an even better foundation for long-term growth,” said Helmersson in the company’s latest financial statement. “The initiatives mainly involve continuing to develop the customer experience by, for example, further broadening the assortment and integrating the sales channels, and by continuing to invest in infrastructure such as tech and the supply chain, but also in renewable energy and sustainable materials.”

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