Fashion giant H&M has appointed a new chief executive and reported on its most recent full-year performance.

Daniel Erver

Source: H&M

Daniel Ervér

Daniel Ervér has been named president and chief executive of the H&M group, succeeding Helena Helmersson, who has decided to leave.

Ervér, who takes up the new role today, has held various positions at the retailer for the last 18 years and was most recently head of H&M, the biggest brand in the group which also owns fascias such as Arket, Cos and Weekday. He will retain operational responsibility for H&M.

H&M group chair Karl-Johan Persson said: “The board would like to express a big thank you to Helena for her valuable contributions during a very intense time. Helena is an appreciated leader that has decisively and effectively led and navigated the H&M group through a time largely marked by pandemic, geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges.

“During this time, we have gradually taken clear steps towards our long-term goals. The H&M group is in a strong position, with a positive profitability trend and good conditions to make further improvements in 2024.

“As Helena has now chosen to leave the CEO role, we are pleased to appoint Daniel as CEO of the H&M group today. Daniel is a competent, experienced and respected leader and has the qualities needed to continue to develop the group.” 

H&M reported a rise in full-year sales and profits, but revenue fell in December when warm weather hit.

H&M posted net sales up 6% to SEK 236.04bn (£17.88bn) in the year to November 30 2023, when operating profit doubled to SEK 14.54bn (£1.10bn). However, the retailer suffered a 4% fall in group sales in local currencies in December and January.

Outgoing H&M CEO Helmersson said: “In 2023 we took important steps towards our long-term goals. Our improvement work in the supply chain and continued normalisation of the external factors that influence purchasing costs resulted in a stronger gross margin.

“A focus on cost control, profitability and increased inventory productivity also contributed to improved cash flow that is financing increased reinvestments in the business.”

She added: “For many consumers the year was marked by lower purchasing power because of high inflation and high interest rates. Despite this, our net sales in comparable markets increased in relation to 2022. The fourth quarter started with unusually hot weather in several of our important European markets. From mid-October sales recovered, as more normal autumn weather returned, with well-received collections.”