Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz reports its weakest monthly sales growth in more than two years. As Hayley Platt reports it blames unseasonably warm weather in many of its large markets in Europe.
An unusually warm August in parts of Europe is being blamed for a monthly dip in sales at H&M. They grew by just 1 percent - the weakest rise in 2 and a half years years - and well below the 6 percent predicted by analysts. The world's second-biggest fashion retailer after Zara-owner Inditex had recorded double-digit growth in the previous 10 months. But Hargreaves Landsdowne's Richard Hunter says there's no need to panic. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF EQUITIES, HARGREAVES LANDSDOWNE, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "It's probably best not to extrapolate too much from one set of results because H&M and the part of the market in which it operates is to a large extent recession proof." H&M wasn't the only fashion retailer to suffer poor sales. In Germany, its biggest market, there was an industry-wide fall in clothing sales of 16 percent. Currencies were also a problem. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF EQUITIES, HARGREAVES LANDSDOWNE, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "The strengths in local currency and currency headwinds is something that we're hearing as a boardroom mantra form around the world at the moment." Spain's Inditex is due to report half year results on Wednesday. It's less exposed than H&M to northern and western Europe. And analysts are expecting a 25 percent rise in net profit.