H&M is a Swedish fashion group, which is the world’s second largest fashion player behind Inditex. This fashion giant is one of the biggest fashion retailers in the world and operated in 4,739 stores in 71 markets, with 47 online markets.
The company continues to be actively managed by the Persson family, with Erling Persson’s son Stefan leading the firm as Chairman of the Board, while Stefan’s son Karl-Johan works as President and CEO. The Persson family collectively controls a 46% stake and retains 74% of the voting rights.
H&M is parent company to over several leading fashion retailers including Cos, Arket, Weekday, Cheap Monday, Monki and & Other Stories. In March 2019 the Swedish fashion retailer reported a sales increase of 10% year on year to SEK 51.01bn (£4.2bn) in the first quarter from 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019, up from SEK 46.2bn (£3.8bn). Gross margin also increased to 50%, from 49.9% a year ago in the first quarter.
The Swedish retailer’s pre-tax profit fell for the seventh straight quarter in December-February, to SEK 1.04bn (£85m), down from SEK 1.26bn (£104m) last year. Pre-tax profits were impacted by the decision to replace the existing online platform in Germany. Recently H&M said that in the period from 1 March 2019 to 31 May 2019, its net sales increased by 11% to SEK 57,474m. In local currency it represented a 6% rise.