Double whammy of war in Ukraine and lockdowns in Europe hits H&M as shares slump 10% to a two-year low
H&M has been hit by a double whammy of lockdowns in Europe and war in Ukraine.
The Swedish High Street fashion retailer said the ‘negative effects of the pandemic’ are hanging on in many of its major markets.
H&M had begun to recover after Covid, and sales rose in the three months to February 28 by 21 per cent to £4billion, compared with £3.3billion a year earlier. In the same period before Covid, sales were £4.5billion.
Slump: Swedish High Street fashion retailer H&M said the ‘negative effects of the pandemic’ are hanging on in many of its major markets
The group booked a post-tax profit of £18million, swinging back from an £88million loss a year earlier.
But this was still below the £158million it made in the same period before the pandemic.
And the retailer warned it faces a significant slowdown after its decision to shut its 185 shops in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, while stopping online sales.
It said in March sales growth slowed to just 6 per cent, sending shares in Stockholm down 10 per cent to a two-year low.
Jefferies analysts cut their sales forecast for this year by 30 per cent, saying the investment bank expects ‘more modest’ sales growth from the group.