Spanish fashion giant Inditex enjoyed record sales and profits during its first half after defying currency pressures and tough retail conditions.
The parent company of Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Stradivarius reported a three per cent rise in net income to €1.4 billion (£1.2 billion) for the six month period ending July 1.
This marked the highest ever half-year result for what is regarded as the world’s biggest fashion retail company.
Inditex also saw group like-for-like sales increase four per cent and were higher across all regions including Europe and the UK, although this marks a slowdown on the six per cent growth seen a year earlier.
Net sales also reached a milestone, smashing past €12 billion (£10.7 billion) for the first time to hit €12.03 billion (£10.7 billion).
Inditex also estimates that like-for-like sales growth has picked up pace in the second half so far to between four per cent and six per cent thanks to a good reception to its initial autumn/winter collections.
The group’s profits hike comes despite fears over an impact from the stronger euro, which had been expected to take its toll.
Its gross profit margin increased slightly from 56.4 per cent to 56.7 per cent.
Inditex makes a lot of its products in the eurozone, but makes more than half its sales outside the currency bloc.
The impact of the strong euro was shown in its total sales figures, with the result in local currencies up by a more impressive eight per cent.
“The strong first-half results are the result of a solid sales and operating performance, arising from the unique strength of the group’s integrated and sustainable business model,” chairman and chief executive Pablo Isla said.
Inditex opened stores in 44 markets in its first half, taking its total number of outlets to 7422 across 96 markets.
It currently trades online in 49 of its 96 markets, although this could change soon after the company recently announced that all of its brands will be available online worldwide by 2020.