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H&M Q2 profit beats on U.S. strength; on track to open 275 stores this year

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Stockholm, Sweden — Hennes & Mauritz AB reported Wednesday that profit for the second quarter rose 23% to $750 million, beating Wall Street estimates and marking the strongest profit increase in seven quarters for Europe’s second-largest apparel retailer.

H&M had announced on June 15 that sales for the quarter rose 15% to $4.5 billion, beating estimates and boosted by sales strength in the United States.

The retailer said it will open seven to 10 stores called “& Other Stories” in 2013 and reiterated its plans to add about 275 stores this fiscal year, with China, the United States and the United Kingdom being the largest areas for expansion.

H&M said it also sees opportunities in Germany, France, and Italy, and will start online sales in the United States in the fall.

H&M stores will open in five new markets this year and the company has signed contracts to open outlets in Estonia, and Indonesia, in 2013.

“Our expansion plan remains intact,” Karl-Johan Persson, CEO, said.

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Rite Aid loss narrows loss in Q1

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Camp Hill, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. reported Thursday that it narrowed its loss in the first quarter to $28.1 million, from a loss of $63.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue rose 1.2% to $6.5 billion from $6.4 billion, edging Wall Street’s forecasted $6.47 billion in revenue.

Same-store sales increased 2.5% in the quarter.

“Our turnaround efforts continue to be successful as demonstrated by our sixth consecutive quarter of increased same-store sales,” said Rite Aid chairman, president and CEO John Standley. “The ground-breaking Wellness store format continued to gain traction.”

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Bed Bath & Beyond profit up, but slowing growth a concern

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Union, N.J. — Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. reported Thursday that net income rose 14.5% to $206.8 million, compared with $180.6 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue increased 5.1% to $2.22 billion from the year-earlier quarter, missing Wall Street’s projected $2.25 billion in revenue. Same-store sales rose 3%.

Although the retailer has now seen its net income increase for three consecutive quarters, the rate has been steadily dropping. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 23.8% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 21.2%.

Revenue also has increased for four quarters in a row, but at a lessening rate. Revenue increased 9.1% to $2.73 billion in fourth quarter of last year, rose 6.8% in the third quarter and climbed 8.3% in the second quarter of last year.

Bed Bath & Beyond announced in May that it will buy home decor retailer Cost Plus Inc. for about $495 million. Earlier this month, it announced it will acquire textile company Linen Holdings LLC.

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