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Inditex Sales Grew at Fastest Pace in Three Years

Inditex Zara

Spain’s economy is improving and Inditex is reaping the rewards.

Zara’s parent company on Thursday announced that net sales for the first nine months of the year rose 16 percent from 12.71 billion euros (about $12.89 billion) to 14.74 billion euros ($16.1 billion), thanks to “solid growth” in like-for-like store sales.

Net profit, meanwhile, was up 20 percent to 2.02 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

Inditex said that this growth has enabled it to generate 13,079 new jobs worldwide over the past 12 months, including 3,291 in Spain. Furthermore, as part of a profit-share plan for 2015-2016, all manufacturing, logistics, brand and subsidiary employees worldwide with more than two years’ service will receive 10 percent of the year-on-year profit increase.

The company, which also owns the Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Stradivarius brands, didn’t publish separate figures for its third quarter but said that in-store and online sales in local currencies grew 15 percent between Nov. 1 and Dec. 3.

Inditex is focused on expanding its digital and physical footprint

It also opened 230 new stores in 48 markets over the first nine months of the year to bring its total to 6,913 in 88 markets worldwide. Notable openings included Zara locations in New York’s Financial District and Hawaii as well as several store expansions and refurbishments.

In addition, Zara extended its online presence to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao; Zara Home launched e-commerce in Australia and Japan; and Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius and Oysho launched online operations in China.

“We have no doubt that in China the fashion appetite is large, our brands are better and better known and…We are still feeling very optimistic [over a five-year view)],” Inditex CEO Pablo Isla told analysts on Thursday, as reported by Reuters.

Besides growing its store count, Inditex introduced radio-frequency identification (RFID) to 1,417 stores and estimates the technology will be fully rolled out to its stores in 53 countries by the end of fiscal 2015.