STOCKHOLM, March 21 Hennes & Mauritz,
the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, posted on Thursday
a slightly bigger drop than expected in fiscal first-quarter
pretax earnings and said it would open more stores this year
than previously planned.
H&M, whose biggest rival is Zara owner Inditex,
said it now planned to open around 350 new stores this fiscal
year, compared with the 325 previously planned.
Pretax profit in the December-February period was 3.23
billion crowns ($499.9 million), down from a year-earlier 3.70
billion and below a mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts
for 3.26 billion.
($1 = 6.4615 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom)