STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Sweden’s H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, reported on Wednesday an increase in March through May sales that was bigger than expected.

Net sales were up 17% year-on-year, or 12% measured in local currencies, at 54.5 billion Swedish crowns ($5.37 billion), it said in a statement. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had on average forecast sales of 52.8 billion crowns.

H&M, which is due to publish its full quarterly earnings report on June 29, did not comment on the figures.

Its biggest rival Inditex, the owner of Zara, last week reported an 80% jump in fiscal first-quarter profit on the back of soaring post-panedmic demand for apparel .

($1 = 10.1396 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Stine Jacobsen)