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Profits soar for Inditex

Global expansion pays off for the owners of the Zara chain.



In spite of falling consumer spending in Europe, the Spanish fashion retailer Inditex has reported  a rise in net profits of 12 per cent in 2011 to €1.93bn (2010: €1.73bn).

Inditex, which is the world's largest fashion retailer by sales, opened its first Zara stores in Azerbaijan, Taiwan, Australia, South Africa and Peru last year. Following its debut in the Australian market, the retailer further cemented its position as a major global retailer with stores on five continents. Inditex has also opened Zara Home stores in Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam.

Net sales surged in all geographic areas by 10 per cent to €13.79bn, as against €15.53bn in 2010. Gross profit increased by 10 per cent to €8.18bn, while the gross margin remained the same.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation was €3.26bn in 2011, an increase of 10 per cent compared to €2.97bn in 2010.

With the opening of 483 new stores in 49 markets in 2011, the company’s number of outlets reached 5527. The group employed 9,374 people in 2011, bringing its workforce to 109,512 employees.

By the end of 2011, Inditex retailers had e-stores in 18 European countries. Zara’s online shop also began welcoming customers in the US and Japan.

For the period 1 February to 14 March 2012, the company’s store sales in local currencies increased by 11 per cent.

Inditex is planning to increase its total number of stores by up to 520 new establishments this year.