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H&M profits soar 24% in the second quarter

Swedish fashion group H&M reported a 24% rise in profits for the second quarter of the year.

Profits increased to SEK 5.2bn (£448m), up from SEK 4.2bn (£362m) for the second quarter to May 31. Sales increased to SEK 27bn (£2.3bn) from SEK 26.5bn (£2.3bn) the year before.

H&M posted sales of SEK 51.9bn (£4.5bn) for the second half of the year, up from SEK 49.8bn (£4.3bn) for the same period in 2009. Profits increased to SEK 8.95bn (£771m) from SEK 6.8bn (£586bn) for the six months to May 31.

The retailer said sales in May increased by 6% in local currencies compared to the same period last year. Sales for June 1 to June 22 jumped 22% from the year before.

H&M will open its first stores in Croatia and Romania in spring 2011 and Morocco will become a new franchise market with a store opening in Casablanca in autumn 2011.The retailer will open its first store in Turkey in Istanbul in November this year.

The company will to open 180 stores and close 14 during the second half of the year, with most of the stores set to open in Germany, the USA, UK, France, China and Italy.

The company its website in the UK will become transactional in September.

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