Good evening, I'd like to thank you all for joining me this evening at our annual investors dinner. My name is Karl-Johan Persson, and I am the CEO here at H & M. As I am sure many of you are aware, it is important for us to meet every year to discuss the future strategic advances of H & M and the actions we need to take to move forward as a retailer. Throughout the evening we will look into how these actions will affect our people and assets that together make up our global company. The board and I want to ensure that our stakeholder groups are kept involved in all stages of development and made aware of how the strategic vision will be implemented. Some of you may have noticed already that there is a small box in front of each of you, this will all be explained in good time. H & M is considered the second largest global clothing retailer. Our total sales were £150 billion with gross profit of £17.2 billion last year, which was stated in our annual report in 2013. With more than 3,200 stores in 53 markets, H&M has a strong global presence.
One of our core values is continuous improvement, and this has been at the heart of our company since we were first established. By looking at how we are continuously completing and re-evaluating our strategic goals we can see that this reflects on how our company is developing so successfully. Each individual mission that we have set has been diligently planned to guarantee that they are proactive yet cost-effective. In our annual report 2013, we can see that one of our strategic missions was to identify key markets for growth and develop them in depth. This was proved successful when in 2014 H & M launched in Australia and the Philippines. Both of these two ventures has increased the profit that we all work hard to achieve. We can learn from this great venture and today, further our progress in the expansion of our company.
As you will all be aware, from our annual report, we have planned to move into four new markets.