• 9-month profit increases 20%
  • Sales up 16% to EUR14.74bn
  • Analyst describes results as "strong" 
Inditexs sales grew 16% during the period

Inditex's sales grew 16% during the period

Inditex, owner of the Zara fashion brand, has booked strong double-digit net profit and sales increases for the first nine months of the year, thanks to what one analyst has described as "the strongest business model in apparel."

The Spanish fashion giant said net profit surged 20% to reach EUR2.02bn (US$2.21bn) for the nine months to 31 October, compared to EUR1.69bn in the same period a year ago. 

Net sales increased 16% to EUR14.74bn from EUR12.71bn last year. In constant currency terms, sales growth was 15%, with solid growth in like-for-like store sales. Inditex opened 230 stores in 48 markets during the period. 

Gross margin, however, dropped to 58.8% from 58.9% in the prior year, with US dollar pressure largely to blame. 

Between 1 November and 3 December, store and online sales grew 15% in local currencies. 

Meanwhile, RFID technology was fully rolled out in 47 countries, and will be fully in place in 53 countries by the end of fiscal 2015.  

Bernstein analyst Jamie Merriman described the results as "strong", adding: "We are encouraged by the current trading, which suggests that sales growth has remained strong into Q4, as we estimate around 8% like-for-like sales growth."