Sweden's low-cost fashion brand Hennes & Mauritz AB announced Thursday that fourth-quarter profits fell 10 percent to 3.5 billion crowns ($ 390 million), while consumers continued to switch to online shopping.
The Stockholm Stock Exchange said the quarterly sales rose by 12 percent to 56.4 million kronor (US $ 6.22 million), while sales rose 5 percent to 210.4 billion krunas all year round (23, 2 billion dollars).
Chief Executive Officer Karl-Johan Persson said 2018 was a "challenging year," but the company is changing to accommodate new customer habits, including more online shopping.
"The change in consumer behavior and technological innovation will continue to transform as and when people buy," he said. "We go on and continue to have challenges ahead, but the progress we have made … strengthens the strength of our strategy and gives us confidence to continue at full speed."
The group continued to expand its online sales, which grew by 22 percent to around 30 billion crowns (3.3 billion dollars). Online sales now account for 14.5 percent of the company's total sales.
Apart from H & M, the group includes brands such as COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and other stories, H & M HOME, ARKET and Afound. There are about 4,900 stores in 71 markets and more than 177,000 employees. It is sold online in 47 markets.