Stockholm: Swedish clothing retailer H&M said on Wednesday that its net profit rose by 6.6 percent to 16.9 billion kronor (Dh9.77 billion, $2.7 billion) in 2012 and that it increased its market share despite a difficult operating environment.

Gross sales by the world’s number two clothing retailer rose by 9.4 percent to 141 billion kronor in the financial year that ended November 30, but net sales measured at constant exchange rates gained only one percent, the company said. “H&M continues to stand strong in a challenging clothing market which in many countries has been even more challenging in 2012 compared to 2011,” CEO Karl-Johan Persson said in a statement.