H&M March sales seen up 9.7 pct yr/yr

today Apr 9, 2009
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STOCKHOLM, April 9 (Reuters) - Swedish fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz (HMb.ST) is expected to post a 9.7 percent year-on-year rise in total March sales, the average of a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

H&M Spring-Summer 2009

Estimates in the poll of 10 analysts ranged from a 7 percent rise to a 12 percent rise, with a median forecast for a 10 percent rise.

Sales in stores open for more than a year were seen down 0.2 percent, according to the average forecast, with a range between a fall of 3 percent and a rise of 2 percent.

Germany -- H&M's largest market -- saw March apparel sales fall 1 percent, according to industry journal Textilwirtschaft. In Sweden, H&M's third biggest market, the HUI/Stil index for clothing sales was down 1.8 percent.

In February, H&M total sales rose 1 percent from the previous year while sales in comparable stores fell 8 percent.

H&M is due to publish the March figures at 0600 GMT on April 15. It does not release absolute sales figures, only the percentage change in local currencies. Figures are in whole numbers.

Analysts from Carnegie, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Kaupthing, Nordea, Morgan Stanley, SEB Enskilda, Societe Generale and Swedbank took part in the poll. (Reporting by Veronica Ek; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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