By Catherine Reynolds
Investing.com -- H&M (ST: HMb ) stock fell 2.9% on Wednesday as the market gave a cool reaction to the Swedish fast fashion giant's sales figures for the three months through November.
The company said sales in local currencies rose 11% from a year earlier to be back at their pre-pandemic level, despite sporadic store closures due to the pandemic. That's a slowdown from sales growth of 14% in the third quarter.
The company said 115 of its stores were closed at the end of the quarter, mainly in Austria and Slovakia where governments have recently enacted fresh restrictions to stop the winter wave of Covid-19 infections. At the start of the quarter, it had had 100 stores closed, mainly in southeast Asia.
At the height of the pandemic, over 1,800 of H&M's stores had been closed due to public health measures, causing a sharp contraction in sales at a group that has always been heavily dependent on its network of physical stores, which accounted for two-thirds of total sales in the first nine months of the year.
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