Business | Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:13am GMT

H&M comparable sales down 2 percent in December

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Hennes & Mauritz (HMb.ST), the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, posted on Tuesday a smaller-than expected 2 percent drop in December sales at stores open a year or more.

The mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts had been for a 4 percent like-for-like sales drop.

Total sales in December, the first month of the Swedish budget apparel firm's fiscal year, were up 8 percent from a year earlier in local currencies, beating a forecast for a 5 percent increase.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom)