Inditex sees profit soar as emerging markets prosper

City A.M. Reporter
THE world’s biggest clothing retailer Inditex announced a 42 per cent rise in nine-month net profit yesterday, buoyed by developing market growth and new store openings.

Cash-rich Inditex, which launched online sales of items such as black net skirted cocktail dresses for around £40 for its flagship brand Zara in September, said sales grew 14 per cent during the period.

Net profit for the nine-month period was €1.18bn (£1bn).

Europe’s retailers are seeing a tick-up in business, especially in emerging economies. Inditex, which operates nearly 5,000 stores in 77 countries, said sales in local currencies grew ten per cent from 1 August to 12 December.

Shares in Inditex have risen around 45 per cent since the beginning of the year, thanks to strong sales and healthy margins, while Spain’s blue-chip index has dropped about 15 per cent. Inditex has reduced exposure to the sluggish economy of home base Spain, which accounted for 28 per cent of sales in the first half, down from 32 per cent in the first half of 2009.

The company was founded by Spain’s richest man Amancio Ortega.