After last year’s losses, Swedish fashion group H&M has returned to profit in the first quarter of the new financial year. Things are moving in the right direction, a relieved CEO Helena Helmersson said.
In the right direction
H&M Group ended the first quarter of the 2023 financial year with an after-tax profit of 540 million Swedish kronor (48 million euros), double the previous year’s figure. The operating profit amounted to 725 million Swedish kronor (64 million euros).
The result was well above expectations and a big improvement on the unexpected loss the fast-fashion giant suffered at the end of the previous quarter. Analysts had feared further losses, but Helmersson says things are moving in the right direction in several areas.
Second hand counts
One important note, however, is that for the first time the second-hand platform Sellpy is included in the group’s results. This results in a one-off positive impact of one billion Swedish kronor (90 million euros). H&M started investing in Sellpy about ten years ago, but it is now “one of the largest second-hand platforms in Europe,” Helmersson said.
The world’s second-largest fashion group had already revealed that its quarterly sales had risen 12 % to almost five billion euros, albeit largely due to favourable currency effects. At constant exchange rates, sales rose by only 3 %. The lack of spring weather also slowed sales somewhat in March, but where the weather did warm up, the spring collections were well received. For March, H&M expects sales to increase by 4 %.