Spanish clothes giant Inditex, owner of the Zara fashion brand, on Thursday reported almost flat nine-month net profit as the opening of new stores and exchange rates weighed on its earnings.
The giant textile firm, based in northwestern Spain, said its net profits inched up 0.78 percent to 1.69 billion euros ($2.09 billion) in the nine months from February, when the company starts its financial year.
Sales rose 6.6 percent to 12.7 billion euros, the company said in a statement.
Adjusting for exchange rate fluctuations, Inditex said in-store and online sales surged by 10.5 percent, a sign that its revenues and profit are being squeezed by weakening currencies in some of its markets outside of the euro zone.
Inditex said it opened 230 new stores between February and October, the majority in Europe, bringing its total number of stores worldwide to 6,570.
"The group continues to expand its global, fully integrated store and online sales platform," it said.
Inditex, whose other brands include Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull and Bear, said sales had picked up as the holiday season approaches.
Store and online sales in November and the first week of December rose 14 percent in local currencies when compared to the same time last year.
Inditex's share price climbed 3.0 percent to 23.02 euros in late morning trading on the Madrid stock exchange following the results.
The IBEX-35 index of leading shares was up 0.76 percent overall.