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H&M’s Biggest Sales Gain in Nine Months Fails to Meet Estimates

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-biggest clothes retailer, reported June sales that missed estimates after growth slowed in the latter part of the month.

Revenue at stores and operations open at least a year rose 3 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement today. The monthly growth was the strongest since September, yet was less than the 4.1 percent expected in a SME Direkt survey.

“We believe the improved performance in comparison to previous months may be discount-driven after a disappointing spring/summer season led to a higher level of inventory,” analyst Allegra Perry at Cantor Fitzgerald said in a note.

H&M rose 0.5 percent to 238.30 kronor at 9:12 a.m. in Stockholm trading, largely mirroring the broader market.

H&M’s total sales advanced 13 percent last month, compared with a predicted 13.5 percent increase. When reporting second-quarter earnings June 19, the retailer said revenue from June 1 to June 17 rose 14 percent. Today’s numbers therefore suggest a slowdown in the second half of the month, Perry said.

H&M said it had 2,926 stores at the end of June, up from 2,596 a year ago. It plans to open 350 this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarina Gustafsson in Stockholm at kgustafsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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