Zara owner Inditex raises profit on global expansion


Spanish textile giant Inditex, owner of the Zara brand, announced Wednesday a rise in quarterly profit as it pursued a global expansion with a string of new stores including in Japan, China and Russia.
The spread of Inditex’s worldwide reach boosted sales by 5.2 percent from a year earlier to 3.59 billion euros ($4.8 billion) in the three months to April 30, the first quarter of the firm’s 2013 business year.
Net profit climbed 1.4 percent to 438 million euros in the same period.
“The group’s various retail formats forged ahead with their international expansion plans,” with most new stores opening in Russia, Japan and China, Inditex said in a statement. Inditex said the number of stores had grown by 49 in the quarter to reach 6,058 by the end of April.
“The group has created more than 10,000 jobs worldwide in the last 12 months and has forged ahead with its investment plans for Spain,” where facilities were being expanded, it said.
Zara Home, a home furnishing store, opened debut stores in the Japanese cities of Osaka and Yokohama, as well as in Panama, it said.
The fashion outlet Zara opened a slew of new stores, notably in Istanbul, Prague, the Italian city of Bologna, the French port city of Marseille and the Indian city Jaipur. The Pull & Bear brand opened its first store in Germany. Zara now sells its products online in 23 countries in Europe, the United States Japan, China and Canada and the outlet plans to launch online shopping in Russia in the autumn of this year, Inditex said.