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H&M sales jump is boost for family head

Family-controlled fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz reported a 10% rise in July year-on-year sales, the fastest rise for sometime, as the clothing retailer plans further rapid expansion.

The Swedish-based business, headed by the third generation of the founding Persson family, announced the results on 16 August, but gave few other details.

Overall, sales for July, including those at new stores, rose 21%, the fastest sales increase for the company in more than two years.

The positive numbers will help to underpin the position of third-generation family CEO Karl-Johan Persson (pictured), who took the top job in July 2009 at just 33 during a particularly difficult time for the global fashion industry. (Continue reading here)

Despite this, Persson spearheaded a big expansion for H&M, opening 238 new stores since his appointment. The company announced this summer it is planning to open a further 180 new stores by the end of 2010.

H&M is the world's third-largest fashion chain after fellow family businesses US-based Gap and Spain-based Inditex. The company, whose financial year ends in November, had 2009 revenues of €10.7 billion.

H&M was established in Västerås, Sweden, in 1947 by Karl-Johan's grandfather Erling Persson and today sells clothes and cosmetics in more than 2,000 stores around the world. Second-generation Stefan Persson still serves as chairman of the board. The family controls the company through its 37% ownership of common stock and 69% ownership of voting stock. 

 

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