Zara owner Inditex – the world’s biggest retailer – reported strong profit and sales growth in the first half.
The retail giant, which also owns brands including Bershka and Massimo Dutti, reported net profit of €1.55bn for the six months to 31 July.
Sales increased seven per cent to €12.82bn as the retailer outperformed rivals such as Sweden’s H&M. Like-for-like sales were up 5 per cent overall, and grew across all store concepts and regions both in store and online.
The company, which has more than 7,400 stores worldwide, announced it will launch online sales in South Africa, Colombia, the Philippines and Ukraine over the next two months and will also begin offering Zara Home products online from 17 September.
Inditex has shut smaller stores, focusing on large spaces in prime shopping areas, which it combines with online sales via its web page and mobile phone app while tight control of its inventory allows it to avoid drastic discounting.
The second half of the year has started well, the company said, with Autumn/Winter collections being well received.
Read more: Inditex falls short of market expectations
Store and online sales increased eight per cent between 1 August and 8 September.
The company estimated like-for-like sales growth of between four to six per cent in its full-year results.