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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

H&M second quarter profit up 25 per cent amid successful online store expansion

STOCKHOLM - Swedish clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB says its second-quarter earnings rose 25 per cent as online expansion and new store openings boosted sales.

Net profit in the March-May period was 5.81 billion kronor ($870 million), up from 4.66 billion kronor in the same period a year earlier, clearly beating analyst expectations. Sales rose 20 per cent to 37.8 billion kronor.

H&M said Wednesday it plans to open 375 new stores in total this year, an extended shoe range and up to 10 new online markets in 2015.

Rapid expansion lead to a rise of 16 per cent in sales and administrative costs in comparison with the previous year, boosted mainly by investments into the company's IT and online systems.

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