Swedish fashion group H&M has reported 5 per cent sales growth in January, a sharp drop over the 12 per cent increase seen in December. H&M said that ‘calendar effects’, and the impact of New Year holiday closures in the various countries in which it operates, had a negative sales impact of about 5 per cent in January.

During 2005, H&M plans to add up to 155 stores to its 1,000-plus worldwide total, with 12 earmarked for closure. The openings will include three stores in Ireland and one in Hungary, both new markets for the retailer.

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