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H&M Q4 profit down, sales up

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Staff Writer |
H&M   Gross profit grew to 30.59 billion kronor

Hennes & Mauritz AB or H&M Group reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit after tax amounted to 3.54 billion Swedish kronor, lower than last year's 3.99 billion kronor. Earnings per share were 2.14 kronor, down from 2.41 kronor a year ago.

Gross profit grew to 30.59 billion kronor from 27.93 billion kronor last year. Gross margin dropped to 54.2 percent from 55.4 percent last year.

The group's net sales increased 12 percent to 56.41 billion kronor from 50.41 billion kronor a year ago. In local currencies, net sales increased 6 percent, driven by increased full-price sales and lower markdowns.

The online sales increased by 24 percent in SEK and 20 percent in local currencies.

Further, the board of directors proposed an unchanged dividend of 9.75 kronor per share for the 2017/2018 financial year, to be paid out on two occasions in 2019.

Regarding the current trading, the company said its net sales in the period December 1, 2018 to January 28, 2019 increased by 4 percent in local currencies compared to the previous year.

In 2019, H&M group plans a net addition of 175 new stores, of which almost half will consist of newer brands.

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