H&M swings back to profit, June sales jump as restrictions ease

Key Points
  • H&M reports second quarter pretax profit of 3.6 billion Swedish krona
  • Profits still below pre-pandemic levels
  • Sector recovering from year-ago slump as restrictions ease
Pedestrians pass in front of a Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) store in New York, on Monday, June 22, 2020.
Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sweden's H&M reported on Thursday a bigger pretax profit than expected for the March-May period, its fiscal second quarter, on the back of the easing of restrictions to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

The world's second-biggest fashion retailer swung to a pretax profit of 3.59 billion crowns ($419 million) from a year-earlier loss of 6.48 billion. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had on average forecast a 3.42 billion crown profit.

Sales in June 1-28, the first month of H&M's third quarter, were up 25% measured in local currencies. The company had flagged earlier that sales for the first two weeks of the month were higher than in 2019.

"With our much-appreciated collections, our ongoing transformation and the fact that markets are gradually being opened up, our recovery is strong," Chief Executive Helena Helmersson said in a statement. "Online sales have continued to develop very well even as the stores have opened, which shows that customers appreciate the collections and being able to shop via their preferred channel," she said.