News Feb 01, 2017 02:43 PM EST

Swedish Retailer H&M Big Gainer in 2016

By Carlos Gutierrez

The fiscal year since December 1, 2015, until November 30, 2016, was good for H&M because its gross profit increased to SEK 106,177 million. H&M profits after financial items amounted to SEK 24,039 million. The profits of the company after tax amounted to SEK 18,636 million. The group's sales including VAT increased by six percent to SEK 222,865 million while sales excluding VAT amounted to SEK 192,267 million. 

Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M, declared the company opened 427 new stores and added three new markets, it also rolled out their online store to 11 additional markets. H&M is in 64 markets of which 35 offer e-commerce. More than 13,000 new colleagues were added, according to H&M, which means there are now more than 161,000 workers.

The year was characterized by the shift in the industry towards a growing online market, brands such as COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday and H&M Home had strong online sales growth. Sales developed well in established markets, but also in newer markets such as India, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Chile, and Peru.

The company continues with investments in digitalisation and infrastructure in the following areas:

-  Omni-channel strategy: They are integrating the digital and physical world to offer customers a more seamless shopping experience. 

-  Supply chain: They are upgrading the supply chain to make it even faster and more flexible.

-  Advanced analytics: The algorithms they have started to use will contribute to improvements from planning and logistics to sales.

The previous target of increasing the number of stores by 10 to 15 percent per year will become a sales target. The new target is for the H&M group's sales to increase by 10 to 15 percent, the company also plans to open approximately 430 new stores.

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