PARIS — Shareholders of Hennes & Mauritz Tuesday voted to maintain the same level of dividend this year, as the fast-fashion retailer struggles to turn around business.
Plans to distribute 9.75 Swedish Kronor, or $1.11 per share, were approved at the annual shareholder meeting in Stockholm, and will take place in two, even installments, on May 11 and Nov. 13, according to a statement from H&M.
Board chairman Stefan Persson was reelected at the meeting.
The start of the year has been challenging for H&M, which saw its first-quarter profit plummet 44 percent — one of its weakest since the Nineties — and its share price is hovering at decade lows, closing at 149.60 Swedish Kronor per share Tuesday. The company has faced criticism for being slow to respond to competition from nimbler rivals as consumption shifts to online channels. Recently turning away from its long-standing strategy of store expansion, H&M has acknowledged that it needs to improve stores as well as its digital expertise.
The company accumulated inventory last fall, and exceptionally cold weather in February and March further complicated matters. Officials warned the problem would likely spill over into the second quarter, likely prompting price cuts.
H&M in March said it targets “a somewhat better result for full-year 2018 compared with the previous year” for the group and projects sales online and from new businesses will grow by more than 25 percent this year.
The Swedish retailer is undergoing a broad overhaul, shifting resources away from its traditional source of growth — store expansion — and investing in digital expertise, revamping store models and improving its supply chain.