Stockholm - Swedish clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) said Tuesday its pre-tax profits for the third quarter 2008 were up 4 per cent, noting that production and transport costs had increased.
H&M pre-tax profits for the third quarter stood at 4.58 billion kronor (678 million dollars), compared to 4.4 billion kronor for the corresponding business period 2007.
The group posted sales of 20.87 billion kronor, excluding value added tax (VAT), for the third quarter, up 12 per cent on the corresponding business period 2007. Third quarter sales had however, been "affected by a weaker retail business in most markets."
For the nine-month period from December 2007 to August 2008, pre- tax profits increased 9 per cent to 14 billion kronor on sales of 62 billion kronor, excluding VAT, the group said.
The company said it opened 85 stores worldwide during the nine- month period while nine were closed.
In all, H&M operated 1,618 stores at the end of August compared to 1,432 for the corresponding December 2006-August 2007 period.
In June a first franchise store opened in Cairo, with two more in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in September. Another H&M store is planned for Oman in November. The retailer recently opened its first store in Tokyo, and planned further openings this year and next year.
The group said it planned to open 114 stores, mainly in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, in the fourth quarter. (dpa)