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Zara-owner Inditex posts 14% rise in profits in first half

Spanish clothing giant Inditex has recorded a 14% jump in profits in its half year results as it benefitted from expanding into overseas markets and growth in online sales.

The Zara-owner clocked up a net income of €717m (£625m) in the six months to July 31, exceeding market forecasts of €672m (£586m).

Like-for-likes were up 6%.

Net sales at the retail group, which also operates Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka, grew 12% to €6.2bn (£5.4bn).

Inditex has ramped up its online offer with a string of web launches in its second half.

It now offers an etail channel for all of its brands throughout Europe and is adding web platforms elsewhere, including the launch earlier this month of a transactional website in the US.

Next month it will unveil a transactional website in Japan.

It has also added physical space to all of its brands worldwide, with the total number of stores in the portfolio increasing by 441 to 5,221 since July 31 2010.

Zara, the largest brand in the Inditex portfolio by sales and number of stores, saw a 13% increase in net sales which reached €4bn (£3.5bn) in the first of 2011.

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