Zara owner posts 421-million-euro profit and surpasses pre-pandemic sales

One of the group's  Zara stores.
One of the group's Zara stores. / EFE
  • Spanish fashion giant Inditex had a turnover of almost 4.9 billion euros in the first quarter of 2021 with online sales soaring 67 per cent

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Inditex, the Spanish fashion giant that owns stores including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Oysho, has posted a net profit of 421 million euros during the first fiscal quarter of 2021. It compares to the losses of 409 million it suffered during the same period in 2020.

On Wednesday (9 June) the group revealed that thanks to its commitment to online commerce it managed to sell even more than before the Covid-19 crisis, reaching a turnover from May to June (the latest figures available) of some 102 per cent more than in the same period of 2020 and five per cent more than in 2019.

Returning to the first quarter, its sales jumped by 50 per cent to 4.9 billion euros and online sales grew by 67 per cent, exceeding the analysts' forecasts.

With coronavirus restrictions remaining in place in some locations, Inditex revealed that 16 per cent of its stores were still closed in the first quarter of 2021 and the others had capacity restrictions imposed on them in key markets such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Brazil.

"The strategic transformation towards a fully integrated, digital and sustainable business model continues to yield results," said Pablo Isla, president of Inditex.

The firm currently has 6,758 stores in 96 countries, which is 71 fewer than at the end of 2020 and 654 fewer than the year before. The closure of Inditex stores - including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Oysho - has continued, a process that the company calls "takeovers" because it does not mean the dismissal of its employees because workers are integrated into other larger establishments.

The objective is to have a network of stores large enough to have a physical presence in better locations - such as the opening of an 8,000-square-metre store in the España Building in Madrid - while having the capacity to integrate a digital store in the same space, explained the company.