By  on January 27, 2011

PARIS — Hennes & Mauritz AB, the world’s third-largest fashion retailer, posted a surprise 10.8 percent profit drop in its fiscal fourth quarter as rising purchasing costs and negative currency effects weighed on gross margins.

During the three months ended Nov. 30, net income fell to 5.48 billion Swedish kronor, or $810 million, from 6.15 billion kronor, or $878 million, during the same period in 2009. Dollar amounts are calculated at average exchange rates for the periods in question.

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