Feb 15, 2010
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H&M says January same-store sales up 1 percent

Feb 15, 2010

H&M collection autumn-winter 2009/2010. Photo : Peter Gehrke
STOCKHOLM, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz (HMb.ST) posted a second consecutive rise in monthly same-store sales on Monday 15 February, fuelling hopes of a turnaround in 2010 following a seven-month losing streak last year.

The global retailer of mid-range fashions said sales at its established stores rose 1 percent year-on-year in January, compared to an average forecast for a 0.5 percent rise at stores operating for more than one financial year.

In December, the company posted a 3 percent rise in same-store sales, the first positive result since April, and beat expectations for its quarterly earnings.

"That is another positive month, due to the fact that you have easier comparables and due to the fact that it seems that consumers are returning to the stores," Soren Lontoft Hansen, analyst at Sydbank.

"They're not power shopping, but at least they are coming back."

H&M is expanding its footprint in Asia but its largest market remains Germany, where it could soon be facing off against British discount retailer Primark (ABF.L).

Total sales were up 11 percent, compared with a mean forecast for a gain of 12.1 percent. (Editing by Hans Peters)

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