Swedish fashion group H&M has announced a strong first quarter with sales up 7% in the three months to February 28.

Group sales grew to SEK 24.8bn (£2.2bn) and profits soared 42% to SEK 5bn (£451m).

Sales have continued to grow in March, ahead 21% in local currencies compared to the same month last year.

H&M said in a statement that sales in March were helped by Easter falling earlier this year.

H&M now has 2,018 stores worldwide.