MADRID, Spain — Inditex SA, the world’s largest clothing retailer, reported its fastest annual profit growth in three years as it added stores and expanded online sales.
Net income rose 15 percent to 2.88 billion euros ($3.2billion) in the period through Jan. 31, the owner of the Zara and Massimo Dutti brands said Wednesday in a regulatory filing. Analysts expected 2.9 billion euros, according to the average estimate. Full-year sales of 20.9 billion euros matched the consensus.
Since its 2001 initial public offering, the retailer has boosted its sales more than sixfold through aggressive expansion of its eight chains. While Inditex has opened an average of about 400 stores per year, the pace has slowed down in recent years as focus moved to having fewer but larger shops. The average Zara store size was 558 square meters in 2015 compared with 530 square meters in 2006, according to Credit Suisse.
By Rodrigo Orihuela; editors: Matthew Boyle and Thomas Mulier.