H&M profits jump as shoppers return to stores

STORY: H&M beat forecasts over the latest quarter as shoppers flocked back to stores.

The world’s number-two fashion retailer saw profits jump by a third to around $471 million over the March-to-May period.

Chief Executive Helena Helmersson said both stores and online shopping did well.

There are some warning signs for the coming months though.

H&M said sales in June fell 6%.

That was mostly as a result of halting sales in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus following the start of conflict in Ukraine.

Russia was its sixth-biggest market.

Soaring costs for raw materials and transport have also posed problems for retailers.

However, H&M was able to make up for cost pressures with an increase in full-price sales.

That saw its profit margin rise over the period.

Investors welcomed Wednesday’s (June 29) news, with shares in the firm jumping more than 5% in early trades.