Spain's Inditex, the world's second biggest clothing retailer and owner of the Zara chain, saw its shares dip after recording lower than expected sales for the first nine months of the year.

Analysts had expected the company to post more than a 17-18% rise in net sales for the period to EUR6.633bn (US$9.741bn), although Inditex's operating income increase of 27% to EUR1.114bn was ahead of forecasts.

Inditex said the sales rise had come about because of increases in selling space and in comparable store sales, pointing out that the group had added 411 net store openings as at 31 October.

New openings include a focus on emerging markets like China and Russia. The company added that it had created 10,377 new jobs in the past year, leading to a total workforce of 76,087 employees at 31 October.