H&M profits falls on higher costs
Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has blamed higher costs and investment in a new brand for its falling profits.
It reported net profits for the three months to the end of November of 5.29bn kronor ($832m; £528m), down from 5.36bn kronor in the same quarter last year.
It will open stores bearing its new brand & Other Stories in the UK, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Italy, France and Sweden in the first half of the year.
H&M opened 304 new stores in 2012 and plans to open 325 more this year.
Net profit for the full year came in at 16.87bn kronor, which was up 7% on the same period last year.
"Our long-term investments relate to a number of areas such as online shopping, IT, a completely new brand & Other Stories and future broadening of the product range," said chief executive Karl-Johan Persson.
"These long-term investments have created cost increases and to a great extent have not yet generated any revenue."
The fourth quarter results were slightly worse than had been expected and H&M shares fell 2% in early trading.