FASHION firm M&Co is to open up to 75 new stores over the next five years.

The expansion plan comes after the Renfrewshire-based retailer, which has 3,500 staff and almost 300 branches, posted increased annual profits of £6 million in the year to February, with annual sales at £165.6m.

Chief executive Andy McGeoch said: “Our core strategy of taking prime positions in market towns continues. Our first half results, in the current financial year, are showing further positive progress in like-for-like sales. We are actively seeking further expansion and are planning to open a further 60 to 75 new stores across the UK by 2022.

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“So far this financial year we have opened new stores in Essex, Yorkshire and Wales.

“We are keen to further expand our store portfolio and are targeting 12 to 15 new stores per year for the next five years as there are a number of towns in which we are currently unrepresented where we believe our format would be successful.”