Swedish fashion group H&M achieved 25 per cent sales growth in May, with like-for-likes up 14 per cent on last year.

In April, the chain suffered a 10 per cent like-for-like fall after being hit by bad weather.

For the first six months of its financial year, sales excluding VAT rose 12 per cent to SEK 41.35 billion (£3.5 billion). Profits, after financial items, were up 11 per cent to SEK 9.49 billion (£804.3 millin).

During its first half H&M opened 59 stores and consolidated 20 stores following its acquisition of Fabric Scandinavien AB in March.

H&M is planning to open stores in Japan and Saudi Arabia for the first time this financial year.