July 17, 2017 / 7:01 AM / 5 months ago

H&M scraps monthly sales figures but promises more transparency

STOCKHOLM, July 17 (Reuters) - Fashion group H&M said on Monday it would stop publishing monthly sales figures but also announced it would break tradition and begin holding capital market days in a bid to assuage investors clamouring for more information.

Sweden’s H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, has seen sales growth stall amid tougher competition, and some analysts had said it might prefer to drop the monthly data.

“The reasoning is that a month is far too short a period over which to assess how sales are developing,” H&M said in a statement. “Instead sales development should be viewed over a longer period of time, such as over a season or a quarter.”

The retailer, which does not publish guidance and whose CEO until last month did not take part in public conference calls about its results, has been criticised by analysts and investors for being too tight-lipped on strategy and outlook.

H&M shares have underperformed the broader market with a 17 percent slide this year, further fuelling calls for greater transparency about its business.

The retailer, which has never held a capital market day for investors and analysts covering the company since its listing in 1974, said it would begin to do so in order to provide “more in-depth information about the business”.

H&M also confirmed a preliminary June local-currency sales growth reading of 7 percent. (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)

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