H&M profits, costs up in first quarter

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News,Business,Fashion

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB says its first-quarter profits rose by 8 percent, even though technology investments linked to online sales wiped out some of the gains.

Net profit in the December-February period was 2.65 billion kronor (412 million), up from 2.46 billion kronor a year earlier.

Sales rose 13 percent to 32.1 billion kronor as H&M added 60 new stores worldwide, bringing the total to just below 3,200.

Costs also rose, by 13 percent, as H&M boosted spending on its online sales system. The company opened an online store in France on March 13, and plans to do the same in Spain, Italy and China later this year.

The share price dropped more than 3 percent to 279.50 kronor ($43.47) in early trading in Stockholm.

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