Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB), Europe’s second-biggest clothing retailer, rose the most in more than seven months after reporting higher sales than analysts anticipated for April, marking the best growth since November.
Revenue including value-added tax jumped 17 percent from a year earlier in local currencies, the Stockholm-based retailer said in a statement today. The figure topped the 10.1 percent gain estimated in a survey of analysts by SME Direkt.
“A very strong month’s trading, significantly ahead of year-to-date trends, we suspect partially benefiting from calendar timing,” analysts at Exane BNP Paribas said in a note. The results imply same-store sales growth of 7 percent, they said.
H&M shares had dropped 7.4 percent this year through yesterday as the retailer invested in geographical expansion, new selling formats and online commerce. The Swedish retailer introduced accessories-focused chain & Other Stories last year, added its first store in the Southern Hemisphere and started a U.S. Web-based shop after several delays.
As comparative figures toughen into the second half of the year, the Exane BNP Paribas analysts said they “fear for downside risk to consensus forecasts, as H&M continue to suffer margin pressure in an increasingly competitive value fashion market.”
The company was operating 3,246 stores at the end of April, up from 2,881 a year earlier.
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