PARIS — More price-cutting in the back office and less on the sales floor helped Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz post first-half profits that handily beat last year’s performance as well as analysts’ forecasts.

In the six-month period ended May 31, net income jumped 55.6 percent to $347.8 million from $220 million in the same period last year. Sales increased 15.5 percent to $2.59 billion from $2.24 billion in the year-ago six months.

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