H&M PROFIT HIT BY RISING COSTS

Hennes & Mauritz, the world’s second-largest fashion retailer, posted an 18 per cent fall in second-quarter pre-tax profit yesterday, showing the impact of higher cotton prices, rising wages in Asia and a strong Swedish crown. Profit fell to 5.75bn crowns (£558m) from 7.04bn a year earlier. H&M said it had kept product prices down in developed markets despite the rising costs.