H&M sales in Croatia rise 4% in FY 2016

02 February, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Celia Hoffman

The Swedish company benefited from a number of emerging markets, such as India, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey, after recently expanding there.

Fast-fashion chains are known as such because they design, make and get to stores fast-changing fashions and trends much more quickly than specialty apparel stores and department stores. Zara parent Inditex started to slow its store openings a year ago.

The company is now aiming for annual local-currency sales growth, including online sales, of 10-15 percent, and expects to be within that range from this year on. H&M hasn't recently provided specific sales-growth targets.

Analysts have criticised H&M for not offering services such as picking up items bought online in its stores and the company responded on Tuesday by saying it was testing online returns in stores, click-and-collect and faster delivery options.

The shift to compete online for H & M comes after management recognized strong competition from online retailers in the U.S., Europe, and China including Amazon, Zalandro, and Alibaba.

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In Sweden, H&M shares were trading at 250 kronor, up 5.57 percent. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected net profit of 5.42 billion kronor.

The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of 9.75 Swedish krona (1.10 dollars) per share for the 2015/2016 financial year.

Sales in the period from September to November, excluding value-added tax (VAT), rose eight per cent year on year to 52.7 billion kronor.

Swedish fashion group H&M's turnover in its fiscal year 2016, which ended on 30 November, grew 7 %, but a strong dollar and an increased amount of discounts led to a lower profit compared to the year before. Its total sales went up by 6% a year ago, reaching SEK 223 billion (EUR 23.6 billion). H&M entered 11 new online markets last year and plans to add six more this year. It is now present in 64 markets of which 35 offer e-commerce.

But he also made reference to "geopolitical events" which he said had had a negative impact on the retail trade, particularly in France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy as well as the United States and China. Last year, Mr. Persson warned of the dangers that the Brexit vote might pose to business.

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