Swedish clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)
on Wednesday reported second quarter net profits of 4.65 billion
kronor (722 million dollars), down from 5.2 billion kronor in the
same period of 2012.
Sales in the period from March to May, excluding value-added tax (VAT), totalled 31.6 billion kronor, almost unchanged year-on-year.
The strong Swedish currency weighed on results, as did marked-down prices by retailers and costs for new stores.
"Although sales remained strong in Asia, overall sales were not satisfactory," chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said.
Persson cited tough economic conditions in several markets and "unfavourable weather" in many of the group's main markets in March and part of April.
The group said it opened almost 100 new stores in the quarter, including its first in Chile - also the first in Latin America.
The company said it operated 2,908 stores at the end of May including franchises, compared to 2,575 during the corresponding business period in 2012.
For the financial year it has planned to open 350 new stores, mainly in China and the United States.
Other promising markets were Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Russia, it said.
Later this year it also planned to open stores in Estonia, Lithuania, Serbia and Indonesia, and in 2014 planned to open its first store in Australia.
The group was in August set to begin online sales in the United States.
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