Inditex profits up after 27% rise in online sales
Written by Hannah McGrath
Zara owner Inditex has defied the gloom in global retail by posting an increase in revenue and profits across its group of brands, driven by a 27 per cent rise in online sales to €3.2bn for the year.
The annual results for Inditex, which also owns High Street fashion brands Massimo Dutti Stradivarius and Bershka, posted a three per cent rise in sales to €26.1bn in 2018, with underlying net income up two per cent at €3.4bn, coming in slightly below analyst expectations.
Gross profit reached €14.8 billion, 4 per cent higher than 2017.
Fourth quarter results for 2018 were strong, with revenues of €7.71bn and net profits of €1bn. Like-for-like sales were up four per cent for the 12 months to January 31 2019.
Earnings before interest and tax were €4.36bn, with a statement saying its strong performance to comes as the group “rolls out its global, fully integrated store and online platform” which synchronises inventory across physical stores and online platforms as well as mobile apps.
Online sales grew 27 per cent to €3.2 billion, meaning e-commerce now accounts for 12 per cent of net sales across the group and for 14 per cent of net sales in markets with online sales.
The company said its schedule for launching e-commerce sites in markets across the world remained on track, with a launch in Zara’s online platform in Australia and New Zealand followed by Zara online launching 106 markets throughout the year, bringing a total Zara online presence to 202 markets.
However, despite the growing significance of online trade to retailers around the world, Inditex continued to expand its physical store estate, expanding this by five per cent across 56 markets in the 12 months to 31 January 2019.