Swedish fashion group Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) posted
a second straight monthly fall in sales at established stores in October as the global slowdown bit further. Clothing sales in Germany, H&M's top market, fell 5 per cent in October after a 13 percent drop in September, according to Textilwirtschaft, an industry publication.
H&M said same-store sales in October fell 2 per cent, against an average forecast for a drop of 3 per cent in a Reuters poll. Euro zone retail sales fell 0.7 per cent in September as the worsening debt crisis in Europe spoiled consumers' appetite for spending.
Total turnover for H&M, including newly opened stores, rose 8 per cent in local currencies, beating the poll average of a 6.3 per cent rise. "We know the market is very tough. We've had weak market data both from Sweden and Germany, so it's an OK figure," said one analyst consulted by Reuters. Shares in the group were up 1.2 per cent, outperforming the Stockholm blue-chip index, which was down 1.25 per cent.
In Italy, troubled Benetton Group posted net revenues for the first nine months of 2011 reached €1,481 million, almost unchanged at currency neutral, compared with the same period of 2010. The bold color sweater manufacturer saw its third-quarter net income fell 33 percent to 31 million euros ($42.3 million) from 46 million euros a year earlier, Benetton said in a statement today. Sales slipped 5.1 percent to 575 million euros. The shares fell as much as 2.3 percent to 3.80 euros after the company released its results. They have fallen almost 22 percent this year, giving the company a market value of about 703 million euros.
Finally, Burberry lost 6% after results, while FTSE drops on renewed eurozone worries. According to The Guardian, Burberry suffers from profit taking as it fails to raise targets, while Europe in focus again as bond yields rise.