June 19, 2013 / 6:17 AM / 4 years ago

RPT-H&M Q2 pretax profit lags expectations

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STOCKHOLM, June 19 (Reuters) - Hennes & Mauritz, the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, posted on Wednesday a slightly bigger drop than expected in fiscal second-quarter pretax earnings but said sales had gotten off to a good start in June.

H&M, whose biggest rival is Zara owner Inditex, said markdowns were higher than expected in the March-May period due to high inventories going into the quarter, and unexpectedly cold weather in key markets.

Pretax profit in the quarter was 6.13 billion Swedish crowns ($946.7 million), down from a year-earlier 7.05 billion, compared with a mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts for 6.31 billion. ($1 = 6.4748 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom)

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