Spanish fashion giant Inditex on Thursday unveiled a 31 per cent year-on-year surge in nine month net profit to 274.1 million euros as it continued to defy the global economic downturn.

The figures mean the Galicia-based operator of the Zara chain has enjoyed a seventh consecutive quarter of 30 per cent growth.

Inditex revealed in a statement net sales in the February to October period jumped 26 per cent year-on-year to 2.76bn euros.

The company, whose other leading banners include Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius and Oysho, said operating costs had risen at a slower rate than the pace of sales growth.

It added it opened almost 200 new stores in the nine month period and expects to open another 65 to 83 by the end of this fiscal year, with between 250 and 300 store openings for the next fiscal year.

"We are very pleased; there is not any concern in terms of like-for-like growth," said a spokesman. "In the first six weeks since we started the fourth quarter the company is performing well and in line with the expectations of the management."