H&M has posted a fall in its first-quarter profits as unseasonably warm weather and currency headwinds dented performance.
H&M reported a pre-tax profit of SKr3.33bn (£289.6m) in the three months to February, down from SKr4.72bn (£410.47m) during the comparable period last year.
It meant H&M missed analysts’ estimates of SKr 3.37bn (£293.1m).
The Swedish fashion giant often pays its suppliers in US dollars and warned in January that the strong currency would add to purchasing costs during the quarter.
Profits were further impacted by a milder autumn and winter, which hit sales of seasonal lines and forced the retailer to slash prices in a bid to shift excess stock.
Sales in Germany, H&M’s biggest market, remained flat, while its second biggest market, the US, posted an 18% decline in sales when converted back into the Swedish Krona.
H&M boss Karl-Johan Persson said: “Profits in this year’s first quarter have been negatively affected by a continued very negative US-dollar effect, which made our purchasing much more expensive, as well as by increased markdowns due to larger volumes of winter garments that remained as a result of the warm autumn.”
Despite the fall in sales, H&M still plans to open 425 net new stores during its current financial year, including maiden shops in New Zealand, Cyprus and Puerto Rico.
It is poised to open its 4,000th store in India later this month.