Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)  booked a profit after financial items of SEK 2.204 billion (€226.2m-$257.3m) in the first half ended May 31 compared with a loss of SEK 3.978 billion (€391.3m-$464.5m) the previous year, while the net profit was SEK1.697 billion (€166.9m-$198.1m), up from a loss of SEK 3.063 billion (€301.2m-$240.9m). In the quarter the bottom line was a positive SEK 2.767 billion (€272.2m-$323.1m) against a negative SEK 4.991 billion (€490.9m-$582.8m) the year earlier.

Net sales came in at SEK 86.569 billion (€8.51bn-$10.10bn) in the first half, up from 83.612 billion (€8.22bn-$9.76bn) a year ago and representing a 12 percent increase in local currencies with the Covid-19 pandemic still affecting the top line. 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.

Net sales in the period June 1–28 increased by 25 percent in local currencies compared with the corresponding period last year. At present, around 95 stores are still temporarily closed due to the pandemic.