Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)’s sales in the second quarter ended May 31 rose by 75 percent in local currencies and by 62 percent on a reported basis to 46,509 million Swedish krona (€4,601m-$5,577m). The company benefited from the strengthening of the krona, but continued to be affected by restriction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the start of the second quarter, around 1,300 stores were temporarily closed. At the end of the period, most of the group’s markets still had restrictions resulting in reduced footfall and around 140 of its stores remained closed.

Sales in the period from June 1-13 increased by 35 percent in local currencies compared with the same period in 2020 and by 2 percent compared with the same period in 2019, before the onset of the pandemic. Most markets in which the H&M operates are still subject to restrictions and on June 13, around 180 stores were temporarily closed. It noted that all 50 stores in Malaysia had to close at the beginning of the month.

The company will release full second-quarter results on July 1.

The Swedish retailer also joined the European Commission’s Green Consumption Pledge Initiative, strengthening its commitment ”to lead the change towards a sustainable fashion future.” It added that it is ”on a mission to become climate positive by 2040 – an ambitious goal that can only be reached by collaborating with others.”