NEW DELHI: Sales at fast fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) India grew 29% to 1,108.2 crore in the year ended 30 November, 2018, the company said in its annual earnings report released on Thursday.

The pace of growth was much lower than what it posted a year ago, when its India business almost doubled its revenue to 860 crore.

During the year, the company added 12 stores in India, taking its total store count up to 39, the company said in a statement. H&M follows a December to November financial year.

In March, 2018, the company even expanded into e-commerce sales in India in order to reach a wider market, following other fast fashion retailers such as Zara and Forever 21 that sell online.

H&M entered India in 2015 with its first store in New Delhi, and promised to open 50 stores in the country with investments of 700 crore. The Swedish retailer has since added stores in the country’s top metros and even entered smaller markets such as Raipur, Indore, and Coimbatore where it sells women’s fashion wear, accessories, men’s clothing and kidswear.

Overall, worldwide H&M posted a 5% rise in net sales to 210,400 million Swedish kronor.

“It has been a challenging year for H&M group and the industry but after a difficult first half, there are signs the company’s transformation efforts are beginning to take effect. Improved collections generated better full-price sales and lower markdowns towards the end of the year..." Karl-Johan Persson, CEO, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, its global online sales jumped 22% during the year, in a boost to the ongoing transition at the company that is increasingly focussing on activating online sales across markets. Online sales now account for 14.5% of the group’s total sales.

“The ongoing transition work contributed to gradually improved sales development and increased market share in most markets during the second half," said the retailer with over 4,900 stores worldwide.

The company plans a net addition of 175 new stores in 2019 largely driven by its COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday, ARKET and Afound brands.

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