Strong second quarter boosts Swedish fashion giant
Fashion retailer H&M has announced half-year sales up 12 per cent to£2.01 billion for the period to May 31. With comparable currency rates, the increase was 13 per cent.

Profit after financial items for the half year was£426 million, an increase of 32 per cent. Group profit after estimated tax was£277 million.

The company has bolstered clothing sales, after reporting a slowdown at the start of the year, and said: 'Well-received collections have contributed to the group's best operating margin in a second quarter.'

H&M opened five shops in the UK in the period and has a worldwide portfolio of 1,121 outlets. In addition, 85 to 90 stores are estimated to open primarily in the US, Germany, Spain, Poland and the UK in the second half.

Turnover for the second quarter, excluding VAT, was£1.11 billion, an increase of 17 per cent compared with the previous year. In current trading, turnover for May was up 18 per cent.