German online clothing and footwear retailer Zalando saw net sales more than double during 2012, thanks to growth in its core markets and expansion into seven new countries.

The company said net sales reached EUR1.15bn (US$1.53bn), against EUR510m last year - and claims to be the fastest to reach sales of more than EUR1bn, just four years after being formed.

It also reached breakeven EBIT in its core Germany, Austria and Swiss markets. It expanded into seven new countries during 2012, extending its reach to 14 markets in total.

The company said that it closed 2012 with an overall EBIT margin of minus 8% of sales, against minus 12% of sales last year.

"Setup costs are taken into account and part of our strategy for all market entries. The important part is that we see a positive margin trend in all regions as customers are loyal and efficiency is improved," explained Rubin Ritter, managing director.

"The fact that we reached breakeven in our core region already in our fourth year proves the success of our business model and has encouraged us to invest even faster into building leadership in the international markets."