Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB today said Monday that group sales rose 19 per cent in June compared with the same month of 2001, beating market expectations of 13 per cent.

Year-on-year sales grew by 13 per cent in May 2002.

Carl-Henric Enhorning, head of investor relations, told Reuters: "We have had a good development on all markets. There is the summer collection which we have in all the shops and which has turned out to be a very good one."

He went on to say that H&M, the world's largest clothing retailer by market capitalisation, did not open any new shops in June, but was on track with its expansion plans to add 55 new outlets to its existing 801 stores in 14 countries.