Fashion group H&M has appointed Karl-Johan Persson as successor to chief executive Rolf Eriksen, who will retire this year.

Persson will take up the role in July. He has been an H&M board member since 2000 and worked in an operational role since 2005. At present he is currently head of expansion, business development and brand and new business.

Persson said: "I have a strong commitment to H&M and a long-term view of the company. H&M’s business concept works internationally and we are well prepared for continued growth.

"I am looking forward to continuing to develop H&M by constantly strengthening our customer offerings, developing H&M in existing markets as well as entering new markets."

In the year to November 30 2008 profits at H&M soared 11 per cent to SEK21.19bn (£1.85bn). This year its expansion will create up to 7,000 jobs, and 225 stores are expected to open.