H&M Feb comparable sales fall more than expected

STOCKHOLM, March 15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:04am EDT

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STOCKHOLM, March 15 (Reuters) - Swedish budget fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz said on Friday its like-for-like sales fell for a fifth straight month in February, by 3 percent in local currencies from a year earlier.

The mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts had been for a 2 percent drop.

Total sales, which also includes sales in stores open less than a year, were up 5 percent, below a forecast for a 7 percent increase.

February is the final month in the retailer's fiscal first quarter and the company said sales in the period totalled 28.4 billion Swedish crowns ($4.41 billion)compared to a mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts of 29.0 billion.

($1 = 6.4435 Swedish crowns)

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