Evening Telegraph

Zara owner notches up record half-year sales and profits

The owner of high street fashion giant Zara has rung up record sales and profits after shrugging off currency pressures and tough retail conditions.

Spanish group Inditex reported a 3% rise in net income to 1.4 billion euro (£1.2 billion) for the six months to July 1 – its highest ever half-year result.

The world’s largest clothing retailer said group like-for-like sales rose by 4% and were higher across all regions including Europe and the UK, although this marks a slowdown on the 6% growth seen a year earlier.

Net sales also reached a milestone, smashing past 12 billion euro (£10.7 billion) for the first time to hit 12.03 billion euro (£10.7 billion).

It also estimates that like-for-like sales growth has picked up pace in the second half so far to between 4% and 6%, as it said its autumn/winter initial collections have been “well received”.

The group’s profits hike comes despite fears over an impact from the stronger euro, which had been expected to take its toll.

Its gross profit margin increased slightly to 56.7% from 56.4%.

Inditex makes a lot of its products in the eurozone, but makes more than half its sales outside the currency bloc.

The impact of the strong euro was shown in its total sales figures, with the result in local currencies up by a more impressive 8%.

Pablo Isla, chairman and chief executive of Inditex, said: “The strong first-half results are the result of a solid sales and operating performance, arising from the unique strength of the group’s integrated and sustainable business model.”

The fast fashion firm, which also owns Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear among a raft of brands, opened stores in 44 markets in its first half, taking its total number of outlets to 7,422 across 96 markets.

It recently announced that all of its brands will be available online worldwide by 2020.

Currently it had online sales in 49 of its 96 markets.