H&M comparable sales fall for sixth straight month in March

STOCKHOLM, April 15 Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:08am EDT

STOCKHOLM, April 15 (Reuters) - Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz said on Monday its like-for-like sales fell for a sixth straight month in March, by 12 percent in local currencies from a year earlier.

The mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts had been for an 11.2 percent drop.

Total sales, which also include sales in stores open less than a year, were down 4 percent, below a forecast for a 2.5 percent decline.

H&M said unusually cold weather and snow, particularly in Europe and North America, affected sales negatively in the month, as opposed to a year earlier when weather conditions were favourable.

"This has delayed the start of the season for the spring collections and sales have been negatively affected. The unusually cold weather has continued also in April, primarily in Europe," H&M said in a statement.

In March 2012 sales increased by 26 percent in total and by 16 percent in comparable units. (Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom)

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