Spanish fashion group Inditex has reported improved sales and earnings for the first nine months of 2005.

Nine-month net sales increased 20% to €4.7m while net income rose 28% to EUR520.5m (US$620.8m).

Inditex had opened 323 stores by the end of the third quarter of the year and is eyeing between 400 and 450 openings for the full 2005 year. The company had also created 6,925 jobs within the first nine months of 2005.

The company said sales performance during the first six weeks of the fourth quarter had met management expectations.

According to chief financial officer Borja de la Cierva, operating costs for the full 2005 year will be less than previously expected.