Zara owner Inditex posts forecast-beating profits

INDITEX, the owner of fashion chain Zara, yesterday released forecast-beating profits, and said new store openings had buoyed sales.<br /><br />The group reported net profit fell eight per cent to &euro;375m (&pound;334m) for the six months to July, ahead of analyst expectations of &euro;355m. Sales were up by nine per cent from the same period last year, which encouraged analysts that the outlook may be brighter for the fashion chain.<br /><br />Inditex said like-for-like sales dipped two per cent. The Spanish retailer, also owner of Massimo Dutti and Bershka, opened 166 stores in 35 different countries in the first half of the year, bringing the total to 4,430.&nbsp; <br /><br />Analysts also cheered the announcement that Inditex will launch Zara online this autumn to help boost sales.