By  on December 15, 2011

PARIS — Hennes & Mauritz AB said sales including VAT in the fourth quarter totaled 36.17 billion Swedish kronor, or $5.4 billion, representing a 3 percent decrease in comparable units.

The Swedish high-street retailer, which will publish full-year results on Jan. 26, said same-store sales for the full fiscal year (December 2010 to Nov. 30) were down 1 percent, while sales in local currencies rose 8 percent.

H&M did not provide an explanation for the data. The world’s third-largest fashion chain has seen sales and profits slide in recent months as European consumers tighten their belts amid worries a new recession is around the corner.

In local currency terms, sales including VAT increased by 6 percent between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, compared with the same fiscal quarter in 2010. Excluding VAT, sales amounted to 30.92 billion kronor, or $4.6 billion, versus 29.71 billion kronor, or $4.3 billion, during the same period a year earlier. All dollar rates are calculated at average exchange rates for the period in question.

H&M also reported that same-store sales fell 1 percent in November following a 2 percent decrease in October. Sales in local currencies rose 9 percent, versus an 8 percent rise the previous month. In November 2010, H&M reported an 8 percent rise in same-store sales and a 17 percent jump in local currencies.

The store count stood at 2,472 on Nov. 30 versus 2,206 stores at the same time last year.

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