H&M Above Expectations

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz posted third quarter pre-tax profits above market expectations Wednesday.

The chain, which has brought in Madonna for its autumn fashion campaign, reported a pre-tax profit of 516 million dollars in the third quarter. Net profit rose 18 percent, attributed largely to higher sales and lower purchasing prices.

Hennes & Mauritz says its plans for a separately branded chain for men and women are on track for launch in the spring,. It also expects to open 80 new H&M stores before the end of the year, in addition to the existing 1264.

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