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H&M Extends Run of Fourth-Quarter Profit Declines on Discounting

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, reported a third straight drop in fourth-quarter profit after the company stepped up discounting in an effort to pull in more shoppers.

Net income slid 1.3 percent to 5.29 billion kronor ($83 million) in the three months ended Nov. 30, Stockholm-based H&M said in a statement today. That topped the 5.20 billion-kronor average estimate of 16 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

The profit drop halts a revival at the fashion retailer, which had reported earnings growth in each of the last three quarters after five consecutive declines. H&M makes most of its revenue from the euro-area, where governments are cutting spending and the jobless rate is at a record 11.8 percent as the economy continues to suffer from the sovereign-debt crisis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Cruz in Frankfurt at jcruz6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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