|Earnings, sales slow at Zara parent Inditex
Spanish textile giant Inditex, owner of the fashion brand Zara, revealed slower profit growth as it pursued a global expansion beyond the fragile economies of Europe.
Inditex said net profit in the nine months to October 30 edged up 1 percent from the figure for the same period a year earlier to 1.67 billion euros, a far cry from the 27-percent leap in profits reported a year ago.
Sales improved by 5 percent to 11.93 billion euros in the same period; a year ago they had shot up by 17 percent.
“The results for the interim nine months 2013 show that Inditex continues its global, multi-concept, multi-channel growth,'' said a statement by the group, which has grown from humble beginnings in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia to reign over 6,249 stores in 86 countries.
Inditex said it now employs 124,880 people in a fashion empire that includes the brands of Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius and Zara.
The group said its operating costs were “tightly managed'' but grew by 7 percent as it opened up new retail space.
Inditex said it plans to open about 500 large stores, enlarge 100 global flagship stores and introduce a new image to key stores around the world.
It has 4,545 stores in Europe, 536 in the Americas and 1,168 in Asia and the rest of the world.