Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast an 8 percent increase in the industry's important Christmas holidays shopping month, which is the first month of the Swedish group's fiscal first quarter.
H&M, the world's second-largest clothing retailer after Inditex, said that converted into Swedish crowns, sales increased by 10 percent. It did not comment on the figures.
In November, its growth was roughly unchanged from October at 9 percent, missing expectations for an acceleration on the back of demand for winter clothes.
H&M, which has the bulk of sales in Europe, has in the past year blamed several monthly sales misses on unseasonable weather. Like its rivals, H&M has underperformed Inditex, partly because the Zara owner has a supply chain that enables it to react more quickly to shifts in demand, making it less exposed to variations on weather.
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