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H&M like-for-likes edge up

Sales at H&M increased 11% in the first nine months of the year as like-for-like sales edged up by 2%.

Sales at the Swedish fast fashion chain rose to SEK 103.1bn (£9.7bn) with profit after financial items also growing by 11% to SEK 15.5bn (£1.5bn).

In the third quarter the retailer’s sales grew by 10% as like-for-like sales remained stable.

H&M said it is ramping up the pace of expansion and the expansion plan for the 2012 financial year ahead been increased to around 300 new stores from the 275 previously planned.

Chile will become H&M’s first market south of the equator when the first H&M store opens in Santiago de Chile during the first half of 2013. Lithuania will also become a new H&M market in autumn 2013 when the first H&M stores open in Vilnius.

Chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said: “Conditions in the fashion retail industry continued to be challenging in many markets – both as regards the weather and the macro-economic climate. The profit increase in the third quarter was damped by large negative currency translation effects.”

He added: “We are continuing our long-term work by constantly making our customer offering even stronger and at the same time building for the future with many new initiatives such as & Other Stories, a new fashion brand that will be launched in separate stores and online during spring 2013.”

Persson said the new brand is aimed at women who want to create their own personal style and will offer a broad range of shoes, bags, jewellery, beauty products, lingerie and clothing.

He added: “The online market is increasingly growing, with particularly strong growth in mobile shopping via smartphones and tablets. To accommodate this rapid development, from as early as the beginning of next year we will also offer a completely mobile adapted H&M shop online in H&M’s existing eight online markets.”

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