Hennes & Mauritz more than doubles quarterly profit

The Swedish clothing group Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) closed the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year with a surprisingly high profit. That’s according to a recent interim report released on Wednesday by the parent company of brands including H&M, Cos, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories and Arket.

Accordingly, the operating result for the period from December 1 to February 28 was 725 million Swedish crowns and exceeded the level of the same quarter last year by 58 percent. The group of companies also benefited from a revaluation of the stake in the second-hand seller Sellpy, which has now been fully integrated into the group.

Sales grew by 12 percent in the first quarter

Net profit attributable to shareholders reached SEK 541 million (EUR 47.8 million). Not least thanks to positive tax effects, the surplus was more than twice as high as in the first quarter of last year, when it was only 217 million Swedish crowns (+149 percent).

A good two weeks ago, the clothing supplier reported that sales in the first quarter had increased by twelve percent to just under 54.9 billion Swedish crowns (4.8 billion euros). In the respective national currencies, the growth rate was three percent.

CEO Helmersson sees “developments in the right direction”

CEO Helena Helmersson sees the group on the right track given the current figures and the ongoing reform measures. “Although the world around us remains challenging, we see some areas where developments are going in the right direction,” she said in a statement. “The external factors affecting procurement costs continue to improve, work on the cost and efficiency program is moving at top speed, and many of the changes we have made over the past few years are beginning to take hold.”

For the period from March 1 to March 31, Hennes & Mauritz currently expects a currency-adjusted increase in sales of four percent compared to the same month last year. “The start of the spring season has been delayed in many key markets due to cold weather,” the company acknowledged. In regions where the weather has meanwhile warmed up, the spring collections of the group brands have been well received by customers, according to a statement.