• Zara owner Inditex sees profits rise as online sales grow

    By: The Associated Press

    MADRID (AP) - Zara fashion brand owner Inditex says strong sales and investment in technology for its online and physical stores boosted net profit in the past fiscal year by 7 percent.

    The world's largest clothes retailer said Wednesday that net profit for the 12 months ending Jan. 31 rose to 3.37 billion euros ($4.11 billion) from 3.16 billion euros a year earlier.

    Sales rose 9 percent to 25.34 billion euros in the fiscal year, with revenue for online sales growing by 41 percent.

    The group was founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega and has become the world's largest clothes retailer with eight brands, including Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull & Bear.

    Inditex owns 7,475 shops worldwide, an increase of 183 stores from the previous year when factoring in shop closures, but 29 less than three months earlier.

    Inditex shares were down 2.1 percent at 23.7 euros in early trading in Madrid.

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