H&M Group has announced that profit after financial items increased almost sevenfold in its latest full-year results, rising to SEK14.3bn (£1.13bn) against the SEK2bn (£158m) reported last year.
It comes as the group pledged that by 2030 “at latest”, it will aim to double sales while at the same time halving its carbon footprint, adding that profitability is to exceed 10% over time.
It said that in order to achieve the “ambitious” growth and climate goals, it will increase its investments, including spending of around SEK10bn (£791m) in 2022.
Elsewhere in its results, H&M said group net sales rose by 6% to SEK199bn (£15.8bn), while net sales in local currencies increased by 12% in the 2021 financial year.
The group performed particularly well in its latest quarter, as profit after financial items rose by 64% to SEK6bn (£475m), up from SEK3.7bn (£293m) the prior year.
The fashion retailer attributed this to its “well-received” collections with more full-price sales, lower markdowns and good cost control.
It now plans to launch in six new markets this year, opening its first stores in Ecuador, Kosovo and North Macedonia, and via franchise in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Cambodia. It will also roll out its online business in Belarus, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Peru and Ukraine.
Helena Helmersson, CEO, said: “The H&M group’s strong recovery continues. Customers are showing that they appreciate our customer offering with the best combination of fashion, quality, price and sustainability. By quickly taking decisive action we have succeeded in managing the negative effects of the pandemic.
“We ended the year strongly, with sales back at the same level as before the pandemic and with profitability better than it has been for several years. Now that we are back to a more normalised situation with a strong financial position and good profitability, we can fully focus on growth again.”
She added: “While we respect the ongoing challenges brought by the pandemic, we have demonstrated our ability to quickly adapt and seize opportunities that arise. Customer focus, quick action and flexibility have been key in managing the pandemic and will be just as important going forward.
“Customers must always feel confident that with us they will be able to find the best combination of fashion, price, quality and sustainability. With continued satisfied customers and strong relations with all our partners, we are optimistic about the opportunities for long-term and sustainable growth for the H&M group.”