Zara owner Inditex posts sales up 7% at €26.1bn
Spanish fashion giant Inditex has posted strong sales growth of 7% to achieve record sales of €26.1bn in the 12 months to 31 January 2019.
The group, whose fascias include Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka, said every brand had achieved improved like-for-like sales both online and offline in all territories. Overall like-for-like sales were up 4%.
Online sales, which now account for 12% of total net sales (and 14% of net sales in markets offering online), were up 27% at €3.2bn. The group has been rapidly rolling out its online capabilities in particular for flagship brand Zara.
Last March Inditex launched online sales for Zara in Australia and New Zealand and in November, it launched online sales for Zara in an additional 106 markets. Zara collections are now available in a total of 202 markets.
Further online roll-outs for Zara are in the pipeline with Brazil coming in March and in May, the brand expects to launch online sales in Dubai, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and UAE.
However Inditex's faith in bricks and mortar retail has remained undimmed and during the year gross new space in prime locations grew 8% (+4.7% net). At year end Inditex operated 7,490 stores. Openings have taken place in 56 markets.
Gross profit reached €14.8bn, 4% higher than in FY2017 (+8% in local currencies), which created a gross margin of 56.7% (+39 bps). EBITDA reached €5.5bn, up 3%.
On the back of the strong performance the group has upped its dividend offering an increase of the ordinary dividend payout to 60% from 50%. The board will also propose a total bonus dividend of €1 per share to be paid in relation to FY2018, FY2019 and FY2020. Total dividend for FY2018 will be €0.88, which represents an increase of 17%.