STOCKHOLM, March 15 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)