The corresponding period of 2010, earnings before tax amounted to 5,735 million kronor.
The bar was set low before the report was published. Analysts had expected a profit of 4,660 million kronor, according to news agency Reuters.
H&M is now increasing its expansion and is counting on 265 new stores during the accounting year. Previously they had planned for 250 stores.
”The fourth quarter will be very intense on openings, with about two new stores a day,” said H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson, who despite the fall compared to last year says that sales have been ”satisfactory”.
A great deal of the expansion is taking place in Asia. Recently the clothing chain opened their first store in Singapore.
”We've had a great start there, way above our very optimistic expectations,” said Persson.
In the coming year the firm plans to open its first stores in Indonesia and Thailand through franchising agreements.
Persson wrote in a statement that the company continues to take market share even in the challenging financial climate and stressed the need for long term planning.
H&M's turnover during the quarter came to 26.91 billion kronor, compared to 26.89 billion in the corresponding period the year before.
The interim report impressed the market enough to ensure a rise for H&M shares when the Stockholm stock exchange opened on Thursday, and helped sustain a positive market development for the remainder of the day.