• Nine-month net income up 10% to EUR1.3bn
  • Sales grew 4.8% to EUR3.5bn
  • Gross profit increased 9% to EUR5.8bn

Spanish retail giant Inditex has seen its profit rise 10% in the first nine months of its financial year, boosted by expansion in Asia and growth in its online operations.

The owner of the Zara, Bershka and Massimo Dutti brands today (14 December) said net income for the nine months to 31 October rose to EUR1.3bn (US$1.7bn). However, sales growth slowed to 4.8%, reaching EUR3.5bn over the period.

Gross profit rose 9% to EUR5.8bn, with gross margin at 59.6%, down from the 59.9% recorded in the same period last year.

The company opened 358 new stores across 45 markets, with new entries in Australia, Taiwan, South Africa, and Azerbaijan. Much of this growth was focused on Asia, with 79 stores opening in China, eight Zara outlets and its first four Bershka outlets in Japan, as well as eight new stores in South Korea.

All of Inditex's banners now have e-commerce stores, with the most recent  launches including Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho and Uterqüe. Online operations for these brands now cover 15 European markets, while Zara has also launched online shops in the US and Japan.

Store sales at the beginning of the fourth quarter have accelerated, the company said, rising 11% between 1 November and 11 December.