MADRID, Spain — Inditex SA, the world’s largest clothing retailer, has joined the $100 billion club as this year’s 36 percent gain in the shares gave the Zara owner a market value enjoyed by only about 80 companies worldwide.
The value of the Spanish retailer, whose brands also include Massimo Dutti and Bershka, surpassed 100 billion euros ($109 billion) Wednesday for the first time. The stock has been bolstered by a recovering domestic economy, growing online sales and a weak euro that’s boosting the value of revenue from abroad.
Inditex is the only Spanish company to have such a valuation, outflanking other blue chip stocks such as Telefonica SA and Banco Santander SA. The biggest beneficiary of Inditex’s surging stock price is founder Amancio Ortega, the richest person in the world after Bill Gates, and owner of a majority stake in the Arteixo-based company. His net worth is $72.3 billion, compared to Gates’s $85.3 billion, and this year he overtook Warren Buffett, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The stock rose 0.9 percent to 32.16 euros at 2:26 p.m. in Madrid.
Ortega, who still sits on the board, started the company in 1975. according to Ortega’s first store was in the seaside city of A Coruna in northern Spain, where he still lives, and he went on to be recognized as the creator of of so-called fast fashion in the following decades. The company now has more than 6,700 stores in almost 90 countries.
First-quarter profit rose 28 percent, the fastest rate in more than two years, Inditex reported in June. Analysts expect a full-year gain in net income of 16 percent, according to the average of 26 estimates.
By Rodrigo Orihuela; editors: Matthew Boyle, Thomas Mulier, Tom Lavell.