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H&M sales unexpectedly shrink in Q4

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Fashion retailer H&M said on Friday fewer visitors to its core brand stores weighed on turnover in its fiscal fourth quarter as it reported an unexpected year-on-year drop for the period.

Sales in the September-November period shrank 4 percent, or 2 percent in local currencies, to 50.4 billion crowns ($5.97 billion), lagging a mean Reuters poll forecast for a 2 percent increase, or 5 percent in local currencies.

In the previous quarter, sales growth was negatively affected by unusually large summer discounts to shift inventories that have been piling up throughout the past two years amid sluggish demand.