Photograph by Anna Webber — Getty Images for H&M
By Benjamin Snyder
March 24, 2015

Apparel giant Hennes & Mauritz AB, known as H&M, enjoyed first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, posting a 36% rise in net profit Tuesday.

The retailer’s net profit reached 3.61 billion kronor, or $423.2 million, in the first three months of 2015. That’s up from 2.65 billion kronor year-over-year. Analysts expected a net profit of approximately 3.37 billion kronor, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company cited “well-received collections” that resulted in “good sales” to help beat expectations in its earnings release.

“We have made a very good start to 2015 – in terms of both sales and profits. Our attractive customer offering and strong expansion both through stores and online, as well as our work on continuous improvement, are among the reasons for increased market share gains and good profits,” said CEO Karl-Johan Persson in a statement.

However, the company is poised for slowing growth ahead due to currency fluctuations. “Although the strong U.S. dollar will affect our sourcing costs going forward, we will make sure that we always have the best customer offering in each individual market,” added Persson.

News that the retailer beat expectations comes as the company announced plans to open new 400 stores around the world earlier this year. Most of those locations will be built in China and the U.S, but H&M is slated to debut stores in entirely new countries as well, including South Africa, India and Peru.

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