PARIS — Specialty retailer Hennes & Mauritz posted a 34 percent surge in profits on robust sales because of its well received spring-summer collection.
For the quarter ended May 31, the Swedish fast-fashion giant said profits hit 3.62 billion Swedish kronor, or $514 million, on sales that climbed 17 percent to 15.49 billion kronor, or $2.2 billion. Dollar figures are at the average exchange rate. Excluding currency fluctuations, revenues would have risen 18 percent.
The retailer's operating profits spiked 22.8 percent — its highest increase in a second-quarter period ever — to 3.53 billion kronor, or $501.2 million, because of lower quota costs, dollar rates and price reductions.
For the first half of the year, profits after certain financial items climbed 32 percent to 5.93 billion kronor, or $841.9 million, on sales that rose 12 percent to 28.1 billion kronor, or $3.99 billion.
During a conference call with financial analysts on Wednesday, investor relations chief Carl-Henric Enhorning said the average selling price of H&M-branded goods was up 3 to 4 percent in the spring-summer collection, and that he expects a similar increase this fall.
"We have extended the range to include tailored garments, making the average price a bit higher than last year," said Enhorning, adding that improved quality and a more elaborate denim collection drove average retail prices upward as well.
However, prices of H&M's lower-cost items dropped by as much as 2 percent, according to Enhorning.
Sales in Germany, which had been the group's Achilles' heel because of a morose economic climate, increased 18 percent. In the U.S., sales showed a 13 percent uptick.
H&M executives plan to open 85 to 90 stores this year, with a focus on markets in the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Spain and Poland. This fall, the company plans to open a store in San Francisco.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast