H&M has announced it expects to return to profitability after experiencing a \u201cbetter-than-expected\u201d recovery during the third quarter of the year.\u00a0\r\n\r\nFor the 13-week period ending 31 August the Swedish clothing retailer said it expects before-tax profit of approximately SEK2b (\u00a3176m).\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe group said the recovery was the result of \u201cappreciated\u201d collections and \u201crapid and decisive\u201d actions. More full-price sales and \u201cstrong\u201d cost control also contributed to the turn to profit, according to the group\u2019s report.\u00a0\r\n\r\nHowever, H&M added that net sales for the third quarter decreased by 16% in local currencies compared with this time last year. Converted to SEK, net sales decreased by 19% to SEK 50,870m (62,572).\r\n\r\nBy comparison, in the second quarter of this year (1 March- 31 May) net sales for the group had decreased by 50% compared with the previous year.\r\n\r\nH&M said the results \u201creflect the Covid-19 situation\u201d. At the start of the quarter, around 900 of the group\u2019s 5,000 stores were temporarily closed. By the end, around 200 stores remained closed.\r\n\r\nH&M announced its full results will be published on 1 October 2020.