Spanish global clothing giant Inditex, owner of the Zara brand
Arteixo - AFP
Spanish global clothing giant Inditex, owner of the Zara brand, reported Wednesday a sharp jump in profits in 2015 due to higher sales and its international expansion efforts.
The group said in a statement that net profit rose by 15 percent to 2.88 billion euros ($3.2 billion) for the full year period until the end of January.
The result was slightly better than expected by analysts polled by financial services firm Factset who had forecast an average net profit of 2.85 billion euros.
Sales rose by more than 15 percent to 20.9 billion euros, boosted by growth in all the regions in which the group is present, it said.
Inditex, which competes with Sweden's H&M as the world's top ready-to-wear clothing retailer, continued its expansion, opening a net 330 stores in 2015.
A Zara store that opened in Honolulu in Hawaii during the last three months of the group's financial year marked its 7,000th, it said in the statement.
The company said it had expanded its online presence especially in Asia, with Internet shopping sites now in 29 markets.
"The investments carried out in head offices and logistics platforms, and in upgrading the company's technology have continued to translate into significant job creation and enabled Inditex to attract talent all over the world," group chairman Pablo Isla said in the statement.
Inditex created over 15,800 new jobs over the year, 4,120 of which were in Spain, as the eurozone's fourth biggest economy slowly recovers from an economic crisis.
It said the board would propose a dividend of 0.60 euros per share.