H&M Group sales hit by second wave of coronavirus pandemic
H&M Group's recovery from the pandemic has been hit by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sales in Q4 fell by 10% to SEK 52.5bn (£4.68bn) with the latter half of the quarter showing the effects of the second wave.
Early in the quarter, between 1 September and 21 October, sales decreased by just 3% in local currencies compared with the same period last year. Between 22 October and 30 November sales decreased by 22%, compared with the corresponding period last year, as the second wave took hold.
For the 2020 financial year net sales decreased by 18% in local currencies to SEK 187,025bn or £16.67bn.
Helena Helmersson, CEO of the group, whose brands also include & Other Stores, ARKET, COS and Weekday, said in a statement: "The H&M group started the year strongly and with a positive momentum until the first wave of COVID-19 had an impact. Extensive social restrictions involving temporary store closures and large drops in customer footfall to physical stores led to a substantial decrease in sales, particularly in the second quarter.
"A strong recovery in the third quarter continued for much of the fourth quarter. Between 1 September and 21 October sales decreased by 3% in local currencies compared with the same period last year. Between 22 October and 30 November sales decreased by 22% compared with the corresponding period last year, as the recovery transitioned into a new slowdown as a result of the pandemic’s second wave."
The group's full results will be published on 29 January.