Inditex now trades from 7,442 stores in 96 markets, having opened stores in 51 markets during the nine-month period

Inditex now trades from 7,442 stores in 96 markets, having opened stores in 51 markets during the nine-month period

Spanish clothing giant Inditex has maintained its sales and margin guidance for the full year amid increases in both earnings and revenues in the first nine months as the group continues to roll out its global, fully integrated store and online platform.

Posting its interim nine-month results today (12 December), Inditex said net income in the period to 31 October totalled EUR2.4bn (US$2.7bn), a 4% increase on earnings of EUR2.3bn a year earlier.

Net sales were up 3% to EUR18.4bn from EUR18bn in the prior year, while gross margin expanded 56 basis points to 58% from 57.4% last year. Sales in local currencies were up by 7%.

The company said like-for-like sales to the end of November grew 3%, following a good start to the season, an "extraordinarily warm" September and a rise of 5% in like-for-like sales in October/November.

Inditex attributed the increase in both profit and revenue to its decision not to participate in the promotional activity "widely seen in the sector since September" – a move it said is reflected in the positive evolution of the gross margin in the third quarter (+108 bps).

Meanwhile, global online sales launches are on track, with the company having launched online sales for Zara in an additional 106 markets in November. Zara collections are now available in a total of 202 markets. All eight of Inditex concepts will be available online worldwide by 2020.

The group now trades from 7,442 stores in 96 markets, having opened stores in 51 markets during the nine-month period.

Looking ahead, Inditex has maintained its sales and margin guidance for the remainder of the year.