Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe's second-largest clothing retailer, reported November sales that beat analysts' estimates after a designer collection went on sale midway through the month.
H&M total sales rose 7 percent last month, beating the average estimate in an SME Direkt survey for 5.7 percent growth, according to a statement from H&M today. Revenue slipped 1 percent in stores and operations open for at least a year, also beating an SME consensus for a 3.3 percent decline.
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H&M, based in Stockholm, started selling a Maison Martin Margiela collection of about 100 items in about 10 percent of its stores on Nov. 15, including a $40 bodysuit with the image of a black bra printed across the chest and a $349 duvet coat, to attract attention this holiday season.
"Whilst modestly better than expected, another month of negative like-for-like sales implies H&M continues to lose market share in an increasingly competitive value clothing market," Simon Bowler, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas in London, wrote in a note today. "This means that risk to financial year 2013 consensus forecasts is to the downside."
Revenue excluding value-added tax rose to 32.5 billion kronor ($4.9 billion) in the three months through November, H&M said Monday. Sales at stores open at least a year were unchanged in the quarter, H&M's final one, the retailer said.
The total number of outlets increased to 2,776 as of Nov. 30 compared with 2,472 last year. The retailer has focused store expansion on Asia and the U.S. to help offset a slowdown in European consumer spending amid the region's debt crisis.
H&M shares price have dropped 1.9 percent this year compared with a 64 percent gain for Spanish competitor Inditex.