Swedish fashion giant H&M has reported soaring profits in the first quarter of the year, despite a dip in sales.

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For the three months to February 29, 2024, the retailer reported operating profits of SEK 2,077m up from just SEK 725,000 for the corresponding period last year. Adjusted for investments and joint ventures, the operating profit number jumps to SEK 2,091m – an improvement in profit of SEK 2,365m.

Profit after tax was SEK 1,201m, up from SEK 540,000, but net sales across the group fell back to SEK 53,699m.

While sales slipped overall during the period, H&M said that between March 1 and 25, revenues jumped 2% in local currencies compared with the same period last year.

The retailer also flagged that during the period it co-founded Syre with Vargas Holding, which it says “aims to rapidly scale textile-to-textile recycling of polyester and contribute to a more sustainable textile industry”.

The fashion giant also today published its annual sustainability report for 2023, which shows a 22% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the business last year.

New chief executive Daniel Ervér said: “Development continued in the right direction in the first quarter with an improved gross margin and operating profit, lower inventory and strong cash flow. Our top priority is to continue improving the customer offering, the store experience and the supply chain in order to increase sales.”