Discount fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB says it will continue its expansion plans despite a slowing global economy and the recent terrorist attacks in the US. The company intends to open 38 new stores in the fourth quarter, 10 of which will be in the US.

On Friday H&M reported third quarter profits of SEK1.25 billion, up from SEK800 million in the year-earlier period and in line with expectations. Turnover jumped by 27 per cent to SKr32.4bn from SKr25.4bn, helped by 56 new stores opening in the period, bringing the total number of outlets to 736. And sales totalled SEK10.97 billion compared to SEK8.19 billion in the same period last year.

The company said it had increased market share in all the countries where it operates and that the autumn collection has so far been well received.

The only cloud on the horizon is the US terrorist attacks, which caused a drop in US store sales. But chief executive Rolf Eriksen said that H&M's expansion plans in the US are unchanged and that it still aims to have 85 stores there at the end of 2003.