Zara will launch online sales in Brazil this month

Zara will launch online sales in Brazil this month

Spanish clothing giant Inditex, operator of the Zara fast fashion chain and the world's second-largest clothing retailer, has booked a rise in full-year profit and revenue, with net sales climbing to EUR26.15bn (US$29.52bn). 

The company, whose brands also include Pull & Bear, Bershka and Massimo Dutti, today (13 March) said net income in the year ended 31 January totalled EUR3.44bn, up 2.1% from EUR3.37bn a year earlier.

Net sales rose 3.2% to EUR26.15bn from EUR25.34bn in the prior year, while sales in local currencies grew 7%. The retailer, which operated 7,490 stores at the end of 2018, said new space in prime locations grew 8% in the period. Gross margin expanded 39 basis points to 56.7% from 56.3% last year.

Like-for-like sales, meanwhile, rose 4% in the 12-month period – 4% in the first half and 3% in the second half – compared to 5% last year, and were positive across all geographic areas, in all concepts, and in both stores and online in 2018. The like-for-like calculation includes 82% of total store and online sales, up from 80% last year.

Meanwhile, online sales jumped 27% to EUR3.2bn, representing 12% of net sales. Online sales account for 14% of net sales in markets with online sales.

The group said global online launches are on track, with online sales for Zara launched in Australia and New Zealand last March, and in an additional 106 markets in November. Zara collections are now available in a total of 202 markets.

In its update, Inditex said store and online sales in local currencies have increased by 7% from 1 February to 9 March 2019.

Looking ahead, management expects estimates like-for-like sales growth of 4%-6% in FY2019. In addition, the group plans to launch online Zara sales in Brazil this month, with launches in Dubai, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates  to follow in May.