H&M posts Q4 sales beat amid Russia, Belarus exit
By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com -- H&M Hennes&Mauritz AB (ST:HMb) sales beat forecasts in the fourth quarter, but were unchanged when gauged in local currencies, as the Swedish retailer faces pressure from the winding down of its operations in Russia and Belarus and COVID-19 restrictions in China.
The group closed its business dealings in the two countries during the period, selling off its remaining stock and shuttering its last locations. H&M previously announced that it would exit the two markets in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Demand was also impacted by performance in China, where COVID-19 lockdowns led to the temporary closure of "around 25 - 50" stores.
Net sales in the three-month period increased by 10% compared to the corresponding timeframe last year to SEK 62.45 billion, ahead of Bloomberg consensus estimates of SEK 62.11B.
Excluding Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, the jump in revenue was 11% in SEK, and 2% in local currencies, H&M added.
Analysts at Jefferies said the quarterly sales update showed signs of resilience despite unseasonably warm temperatures and a recent surge in living costs squeezing consumer budgets.
Meanwhile, full-year sales rose by 12% to SEK 223.57B. The company will present its report for the 2022 financial year on January 27.
Shares in H&M fell in early trading on Thursday.
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