Jan 28, 6:40 AM EST

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB says fourth-quarter sales grew by 14 percent as the company expanded with new shops in India, South Africa, Peru and Taiwan


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STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB says fourth quarter sales grew by 14 percent as the company expanded with new shops in India, South Africa, Peru and Taiwan.

CEO Karl-Johan Persson says the sales, which rose to 48.7 billion kronor ($5.7 billion) from 42.6 billion kronor a year earlier, could have been higher had it not been for "the unseasonably mild weather" across Europe and North America in November.

Quarterly net profit nevertheless dropped to 5.5 billion Swedish kronor ($644,600) from 6.22 billion kronor a year earlier.

Persson said Thursday that 2015 had been "a very expansive year" with 413 new stores, of which 249 were opened in the quarter that ended Nov. 30.

The Swedish group said its top markets remained Germany, the United States and Britain.

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