• Net profit grew 1% to EUR951m
  • Sales increased 6% to EUR7.7bn
  • Like-for-like sales grew 2% 

Spanish retailer Inditex, owner of the Zara fashion chain, has seen its net profit edge up over the first half on rising sales.

The world's largest clothing chain said net profit grew 1% over the six months ended 31 July to reach EUR951m (US$1.2bn). Sales increased 6% to EUR7.7bn, rising 8% in local currencies. Like-for-like sales grew 2% over the half.

Gross margin slipped to 58.6% from 59.6% in the same period last year.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Richard Chamberlain attributed the gross margin decline to a lower proportion of full price sales, combined with adverse currency movements in higher margin markets like Japan.

Over the half-year, the company opened 95 stores, bringing its total to 6,104 across 86 markets.