Fashion retailer H&M sees Q1 profit drop 10 pct to $380 million in tough economic climate

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB says unfavorable weather conditions and a tough economic climate contributed to a 10 percent fall in its fiscal first-quarter net profit to 2.46 billion kronar ($380 million) compared to a year earlier.

Net sales during the December to February three-month period were 28.4 billion kronar, up from 27.8 billion kronar.

H&M says the international retail industry was hit by bad weather during the period, particularly in Europe and North America, and cautioned that an unusually cold start to the current quarter will delay the start of the spring collection.

CEO Karl-Johan Persson said Thursday that 2013 would remain challenging as the company plans to expand its outlets to five new countries, bringing the total number of H&M stores worldwide to some 350.