Zara owner posts 68-percent profit rise
Spain's Inditex, the world's biggest clothing retailer, posted Wednesday a 68-percent rise in first half net profit as its agressive expansion abroad, especially in Asia, paid off.
The Zara-owner reported a better-than-expected net profit for the six months to July of 628 million euros (825 million dollars), up from 374.8 million euros during the same time last year.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a first half net profit of 573.2 million euros.
Inditex, whose other brands include youth label Bershka and the upmarket Massimo Dutti, posted sales of 5.53 billion euros, up 14 percent.
The company reduced its reliance on its domestic market Spain, which is struggling to emerge from its worst recession in decades, while Asian and other European markets expanded their share of total sales thanks to a rapid pace of new store openings.
Spain accounted for 28 percent of store sales during the period compared with 32 percent a year earlier while Asian markets contributed 15 percent, up from 12 percent.
European countries outside Spain accounted for 45 percent of total sales against 44 percent last year.
Inditex opened 173 stores in 37 countries during the six months period, including its first ones in fast-growing India, bringing its worldwide total to 4,780 stores in 77 countries at the end of July.
© 2010 AFP