H&M hires new chief as profits slip behind expectations

H&M has hired a new boss to help boost the fashion giant’s fortunes as it saw annual profits lag behind expectations.

The Swedish retail chain said Helena Helmersson has decided to step down as the firm’s chief executive officer.

Ms Helmersson, who had been in the role for four years, said she has “mixed feelings” about her exit, but found the role “very demanding at times”.

H&M has replaced her with Daniel Erver, who was worked for the group for around 18 years across a range of roles.

Karl-Johan Persson, chair of the H&M group, said: “The board of directors would like to express a big thank you to Helena for her valuable contributions during a very intense time.

“Helena is an appreciated leader that has decisively and effectively led and navigated the H&M group through a time largely marked by pandemic, geopolitical and macro-economic challenges.

“During this time, we have gradually taken clear steps towards our long-term goals.”

Ms Helmersson said: “t is with mixed feelings that I have informed the board of directors of my decision to leave the CEO role.

“I am very proud of what we together have achieved during the last years when we have navigated through pandemic, and several geopolitical and macro-economic challenges.

“However, it has been very demanding at times for me personally and I now feel that it is time to leave the CEO role, which of course has not been an easy decision.”

It came as H&M revealed a pre-tax profit of 8.7 billion Swedish Krona (£660 million) for the year to November 30, slightly below market expectations.

The retailer reported on Wednesday that net sales grew by 6% to 236 billion Swedish Krona (£17.9 billion) for the year.

It added that sales are 4% lower for the two months to January 29 this year, after the end of the previous financial year.