Press release

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB Full-year report

30 Jan, 2020 08:00 CET

Full-year (1 December 2018 – 30 November 2019)

  • The H&M group continued to grow globally in 2019 in an ever-changing fashion industry. The group’s net sales increased by 11 percent to SEK 232,755 m (210,400) in the 2019 financial year. In local currencies, net sales increased by 6 percent. The ongoing transformation work has contributed to continued positive sales development with more full-price sales, lower markdowns and increased market share.
  • Gross profit increased to SEK 122,453 m (110,887). This corresponds to a gross margin of 52.6 percent (52.7).
  • Profit after financial items increased by 11 percent to SEK 17,391 m (15,639).
  • The group’s profit after tax increased to SEK 13,443 m (12,652), corresponding to SEK 8.12 (7.64) per share. Profit after tax in the previous year was positively affected by one-off tax income of SEK 425 m as a result of the US tax reform (Tax Cuts & Jobs Act).
  • The year’s increase in profit means that SEK 86 m has been allocated to the H&M Incentive Program (HIP), which is for all employees.


Fourth quarter (1 September 2019 – 30 November 2019)

  • The H&M group’s net sales increased by 9 percent to SEK 61,694 m (56,414) in the fourth quarter. In local currencies, net sales increased by 5 percent compared with the corresponding quarter the previous year.
  • Gross profit increased by 9 percent to SEK 33,287 m (30,592). This corresponds to a gross margin of 54.0 percent (54.2).
  • Profit after financial items increased by 24 percent to SEK 5,403 m (4,352). Before the allocation to HIP, profit for the quarter increased by 26 percent.
  • The group’s profit after tax increased to SEK 4,212 m (3,543), corresponding to SEK 2.54 (2.14) per share. 
  • The composition and level of the stock-in-trade continue to improve. Currency adjusted the stock-in-trade decreased by 6 percent. The book value of the stock-in-trade in SEK was 16.3 percent (17.9) of sales.
              
  • The board of directors proposes an unchanged dividend of SEK 9.75 per share for the 2018/2019 financial year, to be paid out on two occasions in 2020. The board’s reasoning for the dividend proposal is that the business is showing gradual improvements, investments (capex) will reduce in 2020, the stock-in-trade situation has improved and the company remains in a strong financial position taking into consideration the capital structure target. 
  • Net sales in the period 1 December 2019 to 28 January 2020 increased by 5 percent in local currencies compared to the corresponding period the previous year.
  • The cost of markdowns in relation to sales is estimated to decrease by around 0.5 – 1 percentage point in the first quarter of 2020 compared with corresponding quarter last year. 
  • Online and physical stores are being increasingly integrated with continued optimisation of the store portfolio. Around 200 new stores are planned to open in 2020, mainly in growth markets, while at the same time consolidation will continue with around 175 planned store closures, mainly in established markets. The net addition of new stores for full-year 2020 is expected to be around 25.
  • Australia is scheduled to become a new H&M online market in the second half of 2020.
  • H&M will be launched on the ecommerce platform SSG.COM in South Korea in 2020.
  • An agreement has been signed with a new franchise partner in Central America. The first H&M store is planned to open in Panama at the end of 2020.
  • The H&M group’s industry-leading sustainability work has been recognised in various ways; H&M was named by Corporate Knights as one of the World’s Most Sustainable Companies, while in the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) the H&M group is the first retail company to be included in the CDP A List.


Comments by Karl-Johan Persson, CEO
“The H&M group’s transformation work continues to bear fruit. Increased full-price sales and decreased markdowns contributed to an improvement in profit for the full year and in the fourth quarter, when we achieved a 25 percent increase in operating profit while maintaining a high level of activity in our transformation work. It is clear from our well-received collections and increased market share that customers appreciate the initiatives we have taken. The composition and level of the stock-in-trade continue to improve, and we expect a decrease in markdowns again in the first quarter – for the sixth successive quarter.

Sales growth was good in many markets in the fourth quarter. In India sales increased by 33 percent in local currency, in Poland by 21 percent, in Mexico by 18 percent and in Russia by 12 percent. In Sweden sales increased by 7 percent, while sales in the US and UK increased by 6 and 3 percent respectively.

For the full year, the group’s sales increased by 11 percent in SEK and by 6 percent in local currencies. The sales growth was driven by both in-store and online sales, with a strong increase in online sales of 24 percent in SEK and 18 percent in local currencies.

This positive performance shows that we are on the right track. I would like to thank all employees of the H&M group for their fantastic work and commitment over the past year. It is pleasing to note that the increase in full-year profits means we can contribute a further SEK 86 million to the H&M Incentive Program, which is for all employees of the H&M group.

In view of the ongoing transformation of fashion retail, we have been making significant and necessary investments for several years to secure the H&M group’s position and long-term development. Among other things, we have invested in digitalisation, a more efficient supply chain – including new logistics centres and logistics systems, and in tech infrastructure, advanced analytics and AI. We are now seeing multiple positive effects of these initiatives, providing resources and support for our continued transformation work. One example of the changes that are under way is the creation of our new Business Tech function, which will gradually replace the previously separate functions of IT, Advanced Analytics & AI and Business Development, and where agile teams will work cross-functionally to increase our flexibility, speed and efficiency.

Our highest priority is to ensure the best customer offering for all our brands and we will continue to invest going forward in order to offer the best combination of fashion, quality, price and sustainability. The customer experience in store and online is constantly being improved and we are also testing various new services to help our customers achieve a sustainable lifestyle. Our digital and physical channels are becoming increasingly integrated and to ensure a relevant presence in each market we are accelerating our optimisation of the store portfolio, including renegotiations, closures and rebuilds. For 2020 we plan to open around 200 new stores, while around 175 stores will be closed. Most of the store openings will be in South America, Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia (excluding China), while the closures will take place mainly in Europe, the US and China. 

The H&M group recently entered into an agreement with a new franchise partner in Central America, where the first H&M store is expected to open in Panama at the end of 2020. At the same time, our digital expansion continues. During the year we look forward to opening H&M online in Australia and also to launching H&M on the ecommerce platform SSG.COM in South Korea. 

We take a long-term view of our business and continue to develop new concepts and business models aimed at adding profitable growth and contributing to sustainable development. We believe that more collaboration, shared knowledge and increased transparency is the way forward for solving the environmental challenges faced by the industry. We are very proud that organisations such as CDP have named us as one of the world’s leading companies in the work to counter climate change. The H&M group has been included in CDP’s A List for our work to reduce emissions, mitigate climate risk and contribute to the transition to a fossil-free economy.

Looking ahead, we remain humbled considering the challenges brought by the shift in fashion retail in the form of new consumer behaviours and a fast-changing competitive landscape. The H&M group’s transformation work is therefore continuing at a fast pace in all parts of the company. Performance over the past year shows that we are taking steps in the right direction. Combined with our long-term investments and our ambitious sustainability agenda, we are therefore optimistic about the future and the opportunities for the H&M group to develop positively for many years to come.”
    
  
Strategic focus areas

We are driving our transformation work based on our strategic focus areas in order to meet customers’ ever-increasing expectations and to future-proof the H&M group.

Create the best customer‭ ‬offering‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Product assortment – secure the best combination of fashion, quality, price and sustainability for all the brands.
Physical stores – continued development of new concepts and optimisation of the store portfolio.
Online stores – improvements such as faster and more flexible delivery and payment options.
Continued integration of our physical stores and online to enhance the customer‭ ‬experience.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Fast, efficient and flexible product flow
Make the supply chain even faster, more flexible and more efficient.
Initiatives within advanced data analytics and AI.

Investments in infrastructure – our tech foundation
Continued investments in our tech foundation including robust scalable platforms that enable faster development of new customer apps and technologies.

Adding growth
Digital expansion into new markets.
Physical stores – continued expansion with a focus on growth markets.
Develop new concepts and business models.


Read more about our initiatives and our sustainability work on the next page and at hmgroup.com.
    
  
Contact

Nils Vinge, Head of IR +46 8 796 52 50 
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO       +46 8 796 55 00 (switchboard) 
Jyrki Tervonen, CFO +46 8 796 55 00 (switchboard)

      
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) 
SE-106 38 Stockholm 
Phone: +46-8-796 55 00, fax: +46-8-24 80 78, e-mail: info@hm.com 
Registered office: Stockholm, Reg. No. 556042-7220
    
For more information about the H&M Group visit hmgroup.com.

     
   
Information in this full-year report is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under the EU Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014/EU). The information was submitted for publication by the abovementioned persons at 08:00 (CET) on 30 January 2020. This full-year report and other information about the H&M group, is available at hmgroup.com.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME and ARKET as well as Afound. The H&M group has 51 online markets and more than 5,000 stores in 74 markets including franchise markets. In 2019, net sales were SEK 233 billion. The number of employees amounts to approximately 179,000. For further information, visit hmgroup.com.

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