Price-cutting hits profits at H&M

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Hennes & Mauritz has blamed poor weather and cash-strapped shoppers for a 4 per cent fall in sales in the first six months of the year.

A chilly spring across Europe saw clothes left on the racks, forcing the Swedish fashion giant, which has more than 2,900 stores in 49 countries, to cut prices to lure shoppers. That, plus the impact of currency movements, saw post-tax profit fall 11 per cent to Skr4.7m (£470,000) in the second quarter.

But H&M said June was going well – sales are up 14 per cent so far, partly thanks to more shoppers snapping up outfits from its new spin-off store & Other Stories. Its upmarket chain Cos was also enjoying a "very good performance," said the world's second-biggest clothes seller after Inditex, the owner of Zara.