H&M profit beats forecasts as stores reopen

H&M beat forecasts in the second quarter.

The world's second-biggest clothing retailer swung to a pretax profit of $419 million.

This time last year it lost almost twice that much.

China was the one big negative, with sales there tumbling by almost a quarter.

H&M was hit by controversy over comments it made on the Xinjiang region, where China faces allegations of forced labor.

Worldwide, H&M says just 95 of its 5,000 stores are now shut due to restrictions.

It says online sales are also doing well.

Investors weren't impressed though.

They noted that sales remain below pre-crisis levels.

H&M shares fell as much as 4% in early trades on Thursday (July 1).

There was a similar story at rival Primark, owned by Associated British Foods.

The fashion chain says sales at reopened stores beat expectations in all markets.

That took Primark revenue to $2.2 billion over its latest quarter.

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