Clothing retailer H&M saw a sales increase of 26 percent in March (Reuters)

H&M's share price was up a touch following the news of strong March sales that were driven by a series of positive factors, though the high street clothing retailer warned that these will have a "very negative effect" in April.

Good weather, more outlets and poor sales in March 2011 helped H&M, which has 213 stores across the UK alone, produced a sizeable sales increase for the month.

"Sales in March were positively affected by, among other things, favourable weather and a positive calendar effect. These factors will have a very negative effect in April," the company said.

Total sales increased by 26 percent on March 2011, with a 16 percent rise in comparable units.

The number of H&M stores across the world increased to 2,517 in the year to 31 March, up from 2,238.

Founded in 1947, H&M now operates in 44 countries and employs over 94,000 staff.

Its share price on the Stockholm exchange was up 0.61 percent to 232.40 SEK at 11.20am CET.

Elsewhere across the global retail market there have been mixed results.

Mothercare, a retailer for baby and expectant mother products, has seen strong sales increases internationally, though its UK business is struggling and seeing store closures.

Its fourth-quarter sales were up 4.5 percent across the globe, driven by 18 percent international sales growth, but pulled down by a drop in UK sales of 9.5 percent.

The company has responded by closing 111 Mothercare-owned stores in the UK, putting 730 jobs at risk.

"This will see us operate a lean, more competitive, business, focused on the existing profitable stores in a smaller UK portfolio, combined with a state-of-the-art online platform," executive chairman Alan Parker said.

Supermarket chain Carrefour reported a first quarter sales increase of 1.5 percent, pushing revenue to €22.5bn (£18.5bn).

This rise was boosted by the company's Latin American market, which saw increases of 8.6 percent in like-for-like sales.

However its European and Asian sales which dipped by 2.7 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.