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H&M Bucks Apparel Retailers’ Gloom as Profit Beats Estimates

  • Retailer’s shares gain as much as 6.2% in Stockholm trading
  • Company sees first-quarter pressure from purchasing costs
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Updated on

Hennes & Mauritz AB provided some much-needed good news for Europe’s struggling clothing retail market, reporting profit that topped estimates and accelerating sales growth while setting a new expansion goal to reflect an increasing online presence.

After missing estimates for five of the previous six quarters, H&M said fourth-quarter pretax earnings rose to 7.41 billion kronor ($839 million), exceeding the 7.04 billion-kronor average estimate. A previous target of boosting store numbers by 10 percent to 15 percent a year will instead become a sales target that includes both stores and online revenue.