Swedish clothing retailer Lindex Group has reported third quarter operating profit of SEK143m (US$20.75m), as it balanced the closure of its German operation.

Lindex's sales rose to SEK1,328m for the quarter, increasing by 0.5%, with same-store sales falling by 0.7%. Excluding the German operation, Lindex's sales rose to 2.5% to reach SEK1,274m.

During the first nine months of 2006/2007 Lindex's sales fell 0.5% to SEK 3,882m, while same store sales excluding the currency effect fell by 1.4%. Operating profit for the year so far amounted to SEK292m, including second quarter one-off structural costs of SEK90M for the closure of its German operation.

Lindex president and CEO Göran Bille said: "During the quarter, we continued our long-term work aimed at improving product supply and further strengthening the product range. We have also focused extensively on cost control and the closure of our German operation.

"During the quarter, we started e-commerce in Sweden and we are very satisfied with the favourable reception this sales channel has enjoyed. The interest shown by customers has exceeded our expectations. As a result we are accelerating our e-commerce activities and we also expect to start e-commerce on additional markets during autumn 2008.

"We have also established a successful first operation in Lithuania. Lindex currently has stores in all the Baltic countries and is now an established fashion brand. We expect to have a total of around 25 stores in the three Baltic States at the end of the 2008/2009 financial year."