STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Swedish fast-fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz reported Thursday that net profit for the fourth quarter dipped to $997.2 million from $1.1 billion in the year earlier period. Sales in December, the first month of H&M's fiscal first quarter, were up 13% year-on-year in local currencies, against a forecast 12%. Same-store sales were up 4%.
“H&M stands strong in a challenging market. We increased sales by 8 percent in local currencies and continued to gain market share during what was one of the toughest years for a long time for the fashion retail industry in many countries. The fact that we have gained market share, proves that our customers appreciate our collections, which offer a wide range of inspiring fashion for everyone," said CEO Karl-Johan Persson
Despite the surprise drop in Q4 profit, H&M said it would press ahead with its expansion, opening 275 new stores in its 2011/12 financial year, inclu