H&M profits jump 36%

After reporting a 36 percent jump in profits for the first quarter, H&M reaffirmed its commitment to open 400 new stores this year.

The company also warned that the growing strength of the dollar would result in a slow increase in purchasing costs moving forward, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Most of the new stores will open in the United States and China. In addition, the company said its online division will continue to expand into nine countries later this year. The company has invested heavily in its online operations since it launched a U.S. site in 2013. As of Feb. 28, H&M had 3,551 stores, up from 3,192 a year earlier, including its most recent four-story flagship in Milan.

The world's second-largest apparel retailer, H&M's profits rose by $423 million in the latest quarter and the company's revenue increased by 25 percent.

"Although the strong U.S. dollar will affect our sourcing costs going forward, we will make sure that we always have the best customer offering in each individual market," H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson told the Wall Street Journal.

H&M and competitor Inditex, parent company to Zara, have faced competition in the last few years from the growing online retail sector.

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journal article

Related stories:
H&M to open 400 new stores, launch beauty brand
E-commerce has positive effect on H&M's November sales
H&M gets David Beckham to go shirtless for the Super Bowl
H&M to pay textile workers living wage by 2018
H&M opens new flagship in Milan

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