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Inditex chains post strong performances

Inditex, the Spanish fashion giant, has celebrated strong performances from its key UK chains, despite what it described as a “sharp” decline in consumer spending and continuing economic uncertainties.

The group, which reported a return to profit for its largest chain, Zara, in the year to January 31, said Bershka, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear also increased sales over the year. Turnover at Massimo Dutti, which has 11 UK stores, was up 23% on the previous year, but like-for-like sales were below management expectations. Its pre-tax losses narrowed from £1.4m to £1.3m.

Bershka reduced full-year pre-tax losses to £1.5m, compared with £2.9m the year before. Sales climbed 35% at the chain, which has four UK stores. Since the year end Bershka has opened a refurbished shop on London’s Oxford Street.

Pull & Bear, which had three UK stores during the reporting period and has since opened another, also on Oxford Street, reported sales tripled to £6.6m from £2.2m the year before. However, pre-tax losses widened to £656,000 from £573,000.

Sales at Zara, which has 65 UK stores, rose 13% to £310.6m. Profits were £618,692, against a £20m loss the year before, which was largely because of investment in expansion.

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