Jan. 15 - Budget fashion firm Hennes & Mauritz reports its third straight month of falling like-for-like sales as the company is buffeted by weak European consumer morale. Sonia Legg reports.
2 per cent is today's daily digit in Europe - the fall in like-for-like sales at H&M. The Swedish fashion firm is the world's second biggest clothing retailer. But it does most of its business in Europe where the debt crisis and rising unemployment have dampened consumer morale. It was the third straight month of falling sales in stores open for more than a year. But the picture wasn't entirely gloomy. Total sales, which include new stores, were up 8 percent - easily beating forecasts. At the other end of the retail spectrum - Burberry also beat forecasts with a 9 percent rise in third quarter underlying revenue. The British luxury brand had a particularly strong week in the run up to Christmas. But it still wasn't immune to Europe's woes - growth in the U.S, Asia and emerging markets failed to offset the weaker markets.