* Comparable annual sales growth 3 pct in June
* Sales growth unchanged from previous month
* Total sales growth 13 pct
* Analyst: H&M is taking market share
(Adds detail, background)
STOCKHOLM, July 16 Hennes & Mauritz,
the world's second-largest clothing retailer, grew annual sales
at established stores in June, in a sign of robust demand for
budget clothing from austerity-hit shoppers.
The Swedish budget fashion firm said on Monday sales growth
at stores open a year or more was steady in the month - the
first of its fiscal third quarter - at 3 percent in local
That, however, undershot a Reuters poll forecast for a 5
Total sales were up 13 percent from a year earlier compared
with a mean forecast for a 14 percent increase.
"The company delivers good figures despite the global
worries. They are clearly taking market shares," said Nordea
analyst Stefan Stjernholm.
Fast-expanding H&M, which does the bulk of its business in
Europe and trails Zara owner Inditex by market value
and turnover, said the number of stores in its 44 markets
amounted to 2,596 at the end of the month.
In Germany, H&M's single biggest market by far, the overall
clothing market was down 2 percent, according to industry data.
In May and in the fiscal first half of the year, H&M's
like-for-like sales were up 3 percent, and total sales 12
In the second quarter, H&M grew profits more than expected
helped by its low-price focus, easing input prices and
broadening geographic spread.
Inditex, too, defied the economic gloom in its second
quarter, proving it can sell to both fashion-hungry shoppers in
emerging Asia and cash-strapped consumers in Europe.
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Love Liman; Editing by Mark