Inditex to open more shops as profits edge up

Kasmira Jefford
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ZARA-owner Inditex is to ramp up spending on new stores this year after currency movements outside of Europe and refurbishment costs dented full-year profits.

The Spanish clothing giant, which also owns the Massimo Dutti and Pull and Bear chains, said yesterday that net income for the year to the end of January rose by just one per cent to €2.4bn (£2bn) but in line with analyst expectations. Net sales across all of its 6,340 stores rose five per cent to €16.7bn but sales in Europe, excluding Spain, were up just 0.5 per cent.

However retail sales are expected to accelerate in the spring as the weather warms up and Inditex said sales in the first six weeks of the current year had accelerated to 12 per cent growth.

The retailer opened 331 new stores in 2013 and spent €1.2bn on refurbishing and expanding flagship stores including its New York Fifth Avenue shop.

It expects to lift capital expenditure this year to €1.35bn from €1.24bn in 2013 as it plans to add between 450 and 500 new stores. Inditex, which was late to sell clothes online, said it will launch in new online markets this year including Greece, South America and Mexico.