H&M continues retail expansion, posts 9 percent rise in Q2 profit

Swedish low-priced fashion brand Hennes & Mauritz AB says second quarter sales increased by 10 percent to 59.5 billion kronor (USD7 billion) mainly because of its continued expansion and tight control on costs. In local currency, the sales of the company in Serbia increased by 19%.

"Sales in the UK, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe as well as in many of our growth markets were good". But it was more challenging in several of its major markets such as the U.S., China, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

H&M's recent push into e-commerce was said to have "developed very well".

The Swedish retailer said that sales had risen by 10 per cent while profits were up by a similar amount to 7.7 billion Swedish kroner between March and the end of May. The company said, H&M's online store opened in further six new markets during the spring - Turkey, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia - and is now available in 41 markets.

The web shops for H&M's different brands performed exceptionally well in the second quarter.

H&M is expecting an annual growth rate of 25 percent for the group's online sales. At its first-quarter earnings the company expected a net addition of 430 stores this year.

"Customer behaviour and expectations are changing at an ever-increasing pace, with a greater and greater share of sales taking place online", chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said in a statement, adding this "brings great opportunities for the H&M group".

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