The takeover by clothing retailer Lindex AB of women's wear maker Twilfit has been approved by the Swedish competition watchdog, Konkurrensverket. The deal was first proposed in November 2001.

Twilfit has 61 shops in Sweden, and Lindex now says it might export its products to Norway and Finland.

The purchase has already strengthened Lindex' position on the Swedish market and has created opportunities for expansion in the other Nordic countries.

Yesterday Asa Gabriel was appointed CEO of Twilfit. She will take up the post in March 2002.

In the first quarter of 2002 pre-tax profit at Lindex AB rose to SEK101 million from SEK14 million in the same period last year. Sales rose 9.7 per cent to SEK1.287 billion over the quarter, with same-store sales up 4.3 per cent and new stores contributing a 5.4 per cent sales increase.

Lindex, which owns 321 stores in the Nordic region and 35 stores in Germany, opened 10 new stores in the first quarter, compared to 12 in the same period last year.