H&M July Sales Miss Estimates as Same-Store Revenue Declines

Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-biggest clothing retailer, reported an unexpected drop in same-store sales for last month, sending the shares lower.

Revenue at stores and operations open at least a year fell 1 percent from the same month a year earlier, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement today. The average estimate in a SME Direkt survey was for an increase of 0.8 percent. Total sales rose 9 percent, missing the 10 percent average estimate.

“As so often happens after a good month, H&M’s sales fell back in July,” Richard Chamberlain, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a note. Still, this month’s entry to the U.S. online clothing market should enable the company to regain momentum and post positive like-for-like sales for the third quarter as a whole, he said.

Market statistics from Germany and Sweden suggest that H&M lost some share in July, Nordea analysts said in a note today. Germany is the retailer’s biggest market, accounting for about 21 percent of revenue.

H&M fell 1.5 percent to 242.20 kronor at 9:48 a.m. in Stockholm trading, trimming this year’s gain to 8.1 percent.

The Swedish company said it had 2,940 stores at the end of July, up from 2,603 a year earlier. H&M has said it plans to open 350 outlets this year.