H&M group’s sales incl. VAT increased by 15 percent during the first quarter (1 December 2014 – 28 February 2015)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — First quarter (1 December 2014 — 28 February 2015)

  • Well-received collections for all brands in the H&M group resulted in good sales and increased market share. The H&M group’s sales including VAT increased in local currencies by 15 percent during the first quarter. Converted into SEK, sales excluding VAT amounted to SEK 40,276 m (32,143), an increase of 25 percent.
  • Gross profit increased by 26 percent to SEK 22,213 m (17,641), which corresponds to a gross margin of 55.2 percent (54.9).
  • Profit after financial items increased by 35 percent to SEK 4,723 m (3,486).
  • The group’s profit after tax increased to SEK 3,613 m (2,649), corresponding to SEK 2.18 (1.60) per share, an increase of 36 percent.
  • H&M’s first store in Taipei, Taiwan, was very well received on its opening in mid-February.

  • Sales in the period 1 March – 21 March 2015 increased by 9 percent in local currencies compared to the same period last year.
  • The H&M group plans a net addition of around 400 new stores for the financial year 2014/2015. New markets for store expansion in 2015 are, Taiwan, which opened in February, Peru and Macau which will open towards the end of the first half-year, and South Africa and India, which will open during the second half-year.
  • Nine new online markets will open in 2015: Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Belgium will open during the spring and Switzerland will open in the autumn.

Comments by Karl-Johan Persson, CEO

“We have made a very good start to 2015 – in terms of both sales and profits. Our attractive customer offering and strong expansion both through stores and online, as well as our work on continuous improvement, are among the reasons for increased market share gains and good profits.

During the first quarter we increased sales by 15 percent in local currencies and by 25 percent in SEK compared to the corresponding quarter last year. Profit after financial items increased by 35 percent to more than SEK 4.7 billion. We achieved this strong increase despite our continued long-term investments within areas such as online and IT with the aim of building an even stronger H&M for the future. It is very important to always be able to meet customers’ shopping demands and expectations in the fast digitalising development that is taking place in the retail market.

Already during the spring, we are opening eight new H&M online markets: Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Belgium. During the autumn we will also open our online store in Switzerland.

In February we opened in our latest store market, Taiwan, where we have had a very good reception since opening our first H&M store in Taipei. The next market in line is Peru, where we plan to open our first H&M store during the spring in Lima. In Macau in Asia we plan to open the first H&M store in the summer and an additional store will open later in 2015.

Another example of an exciting upcoming opening is our new flagship store on Herald Square in New York, which will be one of our largest stores in the group with an area of 5,700 square metres in total. So we have many interesting openings to look forward to – both as regards stores and online. In total, we plan to open 400 new stores net and nine new online markets this year, enabling us to reach more and more customers every day.

At the same time as this expansion is going ahead, we are continuing to broaden our product range and to develop further our various other brands COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday, which are all becoming more and more established in the world of fashion. H&M Sport and our extended shoe range have been well received, and we will now launch them in more stores. And in the autumn we are looking forward to offering our customers our latest initiative, H&M Beauty – our new beauty concept that will be launched in an inspiring shopping environment which will further strengthen our customer offering.

As a part of our sustainability work we will shortly be launching our “H&M Conscious Exclusive” collection in 200 selected stores and online. We have set high sustainability goals; over the two last years, for example, we have almost doubled the share of more sustainable cotton used in our product range. If you want to know more about our sustainability work, our latest sustainability report “H&M Conscious Actions Sustainability Report 2014” will be available on hm.com as of 9 April.

As mentioned, the year has got off to a very good start and we have great faith in our offering. Although the strong US dollar will affect our sourcing costs going forward, we will make sure that we always have the best customer offering in each individual market.”

The information in this interim report is that which H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) is required to disclose under Sweden’s Securities Market Act. It will be released for publication at 8.00 (CET) on 24 March 2015. This interim report, and other information about H&M, is available at www.hm.com

Contact persons

Nils Vinge, IR +46-8-796 52 50
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO +46-8-796 55 00 (switchboard)
Jyrki Tervonen, CFO +46-8-796 55 00 (switchboard)

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ)
SE-106 38 Stockholm
Phone: +46-8-796 55 00, Fax: +46-8-24 80 78, E-mail: info@hm.com
Registered office: Stockholm, Reg. No. 556042-7220

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. The company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. The H&M group has more than 3,500 stores in 57 markets including franchise markets. In 2014, sales including VAT amounted to more than SEK 176.6 billion and the number of employees was more than 132,000. For further information, visit www.hm.com.

M&S calls on customers to join its employees, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the Canal & River Trust to help clear litter from Britain’s beaches and canals

2015 Big Beach Clean-up to clear litter from 135 beaches and canals 8,000 M&S customers and employees to take par MCS survey shows litter on Britain’s beaches increased 6.4% last year

LONDON, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) is today calling on customers to join its team of employees, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the Canal & River Trust to help clear litter from Britain’s beaches and canals.

The call comes after an MCS survey published last week showed that litter on British beaches rose by 6.4% last year.

The 4th annual Big Beach Clean Up will clean 135 beaches and canals up and down the country between the 7th and 13th May with over 8,000 people (3,000 M&S employees and 5,000 M&S customers) expected to take part. Last year 250km of coastline and canals were cleared with 4,000 bin bags full of litter collected.

Customers can find their nearest beach clean and sign-up at www.mcsuk.org/foreverfish.

Most of the litter collected will be common waste items such as wrappers, drink bottles and lids as well as fishing lines. It is also likely to include wet wipes, with last week’s MCS survey reporting a 50% rise in the number found on beaches in 2014 compared to the previous year.  Last year’s Big Beach Clean-up cleared 10,950 cotton buds, 21,900 wrappers and 55,600 plastic pieces. Cleaners also found an array of unusual items including false teeth, a hammer, a plastic leg, two motorbikes, a Smurf, a breast implant and an Action Man.

Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at Marks & Spencer, said: “The Big Beach Clean Up is a great way to support the community and help safeguard the future of UK fish stocks. Clean waterways and beaches mean clean seas and our store colleagues up and down the country will be making preparations to clean their local beach or canal. We want as many customers as possible to be alongside them in May, it’s a simple, fun way to volunteer and make a difference.”

Samantha Fanshawe, MCS Chief Executive, said: “The Big Beach Clean-up has grown year on year, involving thousands of amazing volunteers ready to don gloves and bags and pick up the rubbish left behind by others, washed down from rivers or discarded from fishing boats and ships.  Beach litter levels around the UK are sadly increasing – by over 6% according to our most recent UK survey.  This fantastic partnership between M&S, charities and communities raises awareness of the issue and the need for nation-wide action across government, industry and voluntary sectors to stop litter at source.”

Richard Parry, Chief Executive at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Canals are havens in our towns and cities.  They are home to many endangered and much loved wildlife as well as places for people to get away from it all.  Local communities already do so much to help us look after the waterways, and it’s particularly good to have the support of M&S to keep them special places.”

The M&S Big Beach Clean-up is part of M&S’ Forever Fish campaign which is funded by the profits from the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S foodhalls. Since its introduction in 2008, the charge has reduced carrier bag use by 75 per cent and raised over £8 million for good causes.

Since the M&S Big Beach Clean-up began in May 2012 over 20,000 people have taken part and 62.5 tonnes of litter – the weight of Challenger 2 tank – has been cleared from our canals and beaches.

Customers can find out more www.marksandspencer.com/plana and follow the event on twitter (@marksandspencer or search #beachclean) and facebook (www.facebook.com/marksandspencer).

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Notes to editors

* The Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean report 2015 http://www.mcsuk.org/press/view/618

Forever Fish

Forever Fish is funded by the profits from the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S Foodhalls. The objectives of the Forever Fish campaign are to

  • Help to protect and save our precious sea life, oceans and beaches for future generations to enjoy
  • Encourage as many of M&S’ customers and employees as possible to help the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) clean British beaches and learn about fish
  • Help customers make healthy and more sustainable choices by promoting more high quality, sustainably-sourced fish and introducing lesser known and more plentiful species.

The Marine Conservation Society

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment. MCS produces the annual Good Beach Guide, the Good Fish Guide and Fishonline on sustainable seafood, as well as involving thousands of volunteers in projects and surveys such as MCS Beachwatch and The Big Beach Clean-up. For further information, please visit: www.mcsuk.org.

The Canal & River Trust

The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales, caring for the nation’s third largest collection of listed structures, as well as museums, archives, and hundreds of important wildlife sites.

We believe that living waterways transform places and enrich lives and our role is to make sure there is always a place on your doorstep where you can escape the pressures of everyday life, stretch your legs and simply feel closer to nature. www.canalrivertrust.org.uk

Further information
Amy Gower, Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 1693
amy.gower@marks-and-spencer.com

Marine Conservation Society: Richard Harrington, 01989 561585
richard.harrington@mcsuk.org

Canal & River Trust: Jonathan Ludford, 0203 204 4514
Jonathan.ludford@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Equity One, Inc. calls for redemption all of its 5.375% senior notes due October 2015 in an aggregate outstanding principal amount of $107.5 million

New York, NY, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Equity One, Inc. (NYSE: EQY), an owner, developer, and operator of shopping centers, announced today that it is calling for redemption all of its 5.375% senior notes due October 2015 (the “5.375% Notes”), in an aggregate outstanding principal amount of $107.5 million, with a redemption date of April 23, 2015. The CUSIP number for the 5.375% Notes is 294752 AB6. Upon redemption, holders of the 5.375% Notes being redeemed will receive $1,025.4569 per $1,000 principal amount of the 5.375% Notes, which includes accrued and unpaid interest on the 5.375% Notes being redeemed to, but excluding, the redemption date, and the make-whole premium applicable to the 5.375% Notes. The redemption will be funded by the proceeds from Equity One’s public offering and concurrent private placement of shares of common stock which closed today.

A Notice of Redemption is being mailed to all registered holders of the 5.375% Notes. Copies of the Notice of Redemption may be obtained from U.S. Bank National Association, the paying agent, by calling 800-934-6802.

ABOUT EQUITY ONE, INC.
As of December 31, 2014, the Company’s consolidated shopping center portfolio comprised 122 properties, including 102 retail properties and five non-retail properties totaling approximately 13.5 million square feet of gross leasable area, or GLA, nine development or redevelopment properties with approximately 1.6 million square feet of GLA upon completion, and six land parcels. As of December 31, 2014, the Company’s consolidated shopping center occupancy was 95.0% and included national, regional and local tenants. Additionally, the Company had joint venture interests in 18 retail properties and two office buildings totaling approximately 3.2 million square feet of GLA.

For additional information:
Mark Langer
EVP and Chief Financial Officer
Equity One, Inc
410 Park Avenue, Suite 1220
New York, NY 10022
212-796-1760

Starbucks York plant in Pennsylvania achieved its target of being a “100% Landfill Diversion” facility

SEATTLE, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — One of the largest coffee roasting plants in the world has achieved its target of being a “100% Landfill Diversion” facility, due to Starbucks partners (employees) who led the effort. The accomplishment, certified by Underwriters Laboratories, means that all of the waste produced on site is either recycled or reused and nothing is sent to landfills.

More than 400 Starbucks partners work in two buildings in York, Pennsylvania. Each covers about 450,000 square feet – one is the coffee roasting plant, the other is Starbucks largest distribution center.

“The facility was always proactive about recycling, but I realized that wasn’t good enough when I visited a company that supplied our packaging film in 2009 and saw that they weren’t sending any waste to a landfill,” said Denise Wills, senior sustainability and maintenance coordinator for Starbucks York plant. “We made it our mission to do the same at York.”

Wills created a spreadsheet to track where the waste streams were within the York facility, then systematically worked with vendors to recycle and reuse the waste. She tracked down, to the pound, how much waste was being sent to landfills. Behaviors changed, Wills said, when people were able to see how much was being diverted from different areas of the plant.

In 2012, York Partners pulled together and formed a recycling committee made up of partners from every department in the facility to accomplish the goal of recycling “every cup, every piece of plastic, every shred of cardboard – everything,” said Haskell Allen, director of Safety, Health and Environment for Starbucks Global Supply Chain.

The York team realized that finding local vendors who could use the recycled materials was the easier part of the plant-wide effort. The bigger challenge was changing recycling behaviors.

“Every site was doing some type of recycling, that’s nothing new,” Allen said. “What we did was track the waste and engage partners in creating the culture and discipline needed to push for our aggressive recycling goals.”

Starbucks York Roasting Plant received the UL certification for being a 100% Landfill Diversion facility in May of 2014. Since then, Starbucks partners in York have continued to find ways to recycle even the smallest items, such as ear plugs.

Transforming, Not Trashing

Starbucks® Stores around the world have also found creative ways to transform recyclable paper products.

One example is found at a Starbucks location in Bogota, Colombia’s bustling neighborhood of Chico Norte – home to international embassies, banks, and global businesses. Starbucks senior designer Hannelore Freer created a striking wall-to-ceiling installation, made with used napkins, cups, newspapers and packing boxes sourced from Starbucks stores in Santiago.

The installation, made up of more than 140 (12in x 24in) large diamond shaped tiles. The lightweight, sustainable tiles provide sound absorption and match the store’s color palette. Each tile is mounted to the wall and ceiling with the help of a strong magnet and rod, lending the installation a light, mobile feel.

“When we came across this material, I knew we could do something special with it” said Freer. “Each piece is light, airy and seems to float, reminding me of a coffee tree leaf blowing in a light harvest breeze.”

Working with the local Colombian government, Starbucks also helped introduce a recycling program that will increase environmental awareness in El Peñol, Guatapé community. With five new waste collection centers and a multi-tiered educational campaign on the importance of recycling, 1,160 people – from grade school students to educators and parents – and learning how to reduce their environmental impact.

Recycled Stores

In some cases, entire Starbucks® stores are made from recycled materials. Recognizing that its own supply chain relied on shipping containers to transport coffee and tea, Starbucks wanted to find a way to reconfigure containers near the end of their usable life spans into drive-thru stores. This innovative thinking has led to several 450 square foot stores, each made from four shipping containers, since 2012.

Read more and share your input:

Starbucks 2014 Global Responsibility Report

Starbucks.com/responsibility

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.

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Starbucks York plant in Pennsylvania achieved its target of being a “100% Landfill Diversion” facility

Starbucks York plant in Pennsylvania achieved its target of being a “100% Landfill Diversion” facility

Carrefour and TrialPanel staged the second “Preferred by Consumers” Awards

Boulogne-Billancourt, France, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — On 18 March 2015, Carrefour and TrialPanel staged the second “Preferred by Consumers” Awards. These are prizes that are awarded to products that are given the highest ratings by the consumer community active in the MonAvisLeRendGratuit.com forum that was launched by Carrefour in 2013.

A product in stores for an online opinion

With a community of more than 400,000 consumers registered on the MonAvisLeRendGratuit.com forum, Carrefour can provide its customers with an innovative and exclusive shopping experience. Users who are registered to use the site can test up to 4 products for free every time they visit any of the retailer’s hypermarkets. Consumers say what they think about a selection of 200 big-name products that are put forward every month.

This completely consumer-driven forum is in line with the collaborative consumption system – a system which involves every consumer being able to say what they think about a product, thus helping to improve them via an open and free platform.

163 prizewinners in 10 different categories

1.4 million products were tested by members of the MonAvisLeRendGratuit community in a range of different categories (hygiene, grocery, etc.). The products which won prizes were those which scored the highest among consumers on the forum.  There were 163 winners altogether!

For each of the products tested, members can post comments and so interact with the brands. The information gathered is used to improve certain recipes or packaging solutions. For example, the packaging used for Reflets de France’s sardines has been improved and will be available in June 2015 in a “lithographed” version which is considered more visually appealing by consumers.

MonAvisLeRendGratuit.com, a hugely popular service

After two years online and 7 million questionnaires completed (1 million of which have been via the mobile app), the scheme has met with wide approval among consumers who appreciate the opportunity for real dialogue with the brands and the retailer: “Beyond providing consumers with the opportunity to test products for free, MonAvisLeRendGratuit is first and foremost the emergence of a community. A community of consumers which – every day – takes action alongside us by sharing opinions, as well as by being heavily involved through content publication (recipes, photos, etc.).”

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London Event: Greenwich’s Royal Observatory hosts a free day of events this week

LONDON, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — This week one of the world’s most important historic astronomical locations will offer a rare chance to see the astronomical spectacle of a near total solar eclipse on British soil. The last solar eclipse of such significance that could be seen in the UK was more than 15 years ago, on 11 August 1999. However, on Friday 20 March, this will happen again and to mark this extraordinary event, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich will open at 8am allowing the public to view the whole of the eclipse. The Royal Observatory is the traditional home of astronomy in London as well as the location of the international time line. Greenwich is home to numerous historic museums and venues, as well as some of the best pubs, shops, restaurants and cheap hotels in London. For more on the area, see LondonTown.com.

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon’s apparent diameter is the same as or larger than the sun, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality can be seen in a narrow path across the Earth’s surface, and a partial solar eclipse will be visible over a region thousands of kilometres wide. This eclipse will take place when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth on Friday, starting at 08:24 GMT and ending at 10:41 GMT. The maximum obscuration of the sun in London will be up to 84.47% at 09:31GMT. To mark the event, the Royal Observatory will hold a morning of safe observing through telescopes and solar viewers. Also, the Observatory’s astronomy team and members of the Flamsteed Astronomy Society will be on hand to supervise and answer any questions. All binoculars and telescopes must be suitably equipped with adequate filtration to ensure safe solar viewing. Observers should never look directly at the sun. Permanent eye damage can result.

Total solar eclipses in the UK are rare astronomical events. Despite occurring somewhere on Earth every 18 months on average, it is predicted that they recur at any given place just once every 360 to 410 years, on average. The next total eclipse visible in the UK will be 23 September 2090, but the next similar partial eclipse will be visible much sooner, on 12 August 2026. For more information on this and other events at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and its neighbouring museums, the National Maritime Museum and Queen’s Gallery, see LondonTown.com.

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About LondonTown.com

LondonTown.com is the number one Internet site for London. With over 18 years of experience assisting visitors to the capital, they pride themselves on their customer service and editorial independence – no banner advertising or paid for content is allowed. The LondonTown.com team assist in finding cheap London hotels, sightseeing tours, ticket information and events. Trusted and with a loyal following, LondonTown.com is a very reliable source of recommendations and advice on what to do in London.

London Event: Groundbreaking political artist takes root at Imperial War Museum

Year-long exhibition of anti-war artists Peter Kennard opens in May.

LONDON, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — London’s recently refurbished Imperial War Museum in Waterloo is opening a new exhibition in May celebrating the work of one of Britain’s most important political artists. Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist (14th May 2015 – 30th May 2016) will examine the way Kennard’s images have become synonymous with political activism and inspired politically-aware artists from Mark Wallinger to Banksy. The free exhibition at IWM London will be the first major retrospective of his work charting a 50 year career featuring over 200 artworks and related items. The Imperial War Museum is located in Waterloo, close to the rich cultural attractions of the South Bank. To see what other London events are taking place in the area in May, visit LondonTown.com, London’s best website for visitors to the capital.

Kennard has been working since the late 1960s, when he abandoned painting and sought new forms of expression to bring art and politics together for a wider audience. In the 1980s, his work struck a chord during the polarised years of Cold War paranoia, culminating in his iconic transposition of Constable’s Haywain which he showed carrying Cruise Missiles. Hard-hitting montages such as this articulated fears inherent in British society as the East-West stand-off pushed the world towards nuclear catastrophe. Missiles, armaments and human skulls are all motifs of Kennard’s most ubiquitous works.

Kennard’s more recent Iraq War work, will be displayed alongside his seminal STOP paintings, begun when he was still an art student. These paintings reference events of the late 1960s such as the Paris student riots, the ‘Prague Spring’ and anti-Vietnam War protests and capture the febrile and disorientating atmosphere of the times. Artworks will be displayed in their various distributional forms ranging from posters, pamphlets, badges, placards and t-shirts, alongside the original works of art. These will underline how Kennard’s art is as reliant on its distribution and manifestation as its concept and creation. The display will also confirm Kennard’s status as an artistic outsider, determined to make work that exists outside the normal channels of the art world and that directly connects with the public.

The exhibition concludes with Boardroom, a brand new installation in which Kennard will look at the history of war and conflict from the mid- twentieth century to the present day. He will use many recurrent images from throughout his working life encompassing the entire gallery space. The images will be juxtaposed with numbers forming an audit of war both in terms of human and financial cost. Kennard intends this to be an evolving piece and will change the composition of the display at different points throughout the exhibition run. For more information, see LondonTown.com.

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About LondonTown.com

LondonTown.com is the number one Internet site for London. With over 18 years of experience assisting visitors to the capital, they pride themselves on their customer service and editorial independence – no banner advertising or paid for content is allowed. The LondonTown.com team assist in finding cheap London hotels, sightseeing tours, ticket information and events. Trusted and with a loyal following, LondonTown.com is a very reliable source of recommendations and advice on what to do in London.