CORUNNA, Spain - Spain's fashion retail giant Inditex, owner of popular brand Zara, said on Wednesday that its drive to expand internationally helped push up profits last year.
Inditex, one of the world's largest fashion retailers, said in a statement that its bottom-line profit rose by 10% to 3.16 billion euros ($3.4 billion) last year.
Inditex - whose brands include Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear, Bershka and Oysho - therefore beat Swedish rival H&M which booked net profit of around two billion euros in 2016.
But the Spanish group's profit growth was slower than in 2015 when its bottom line had risen by 15%. Revenues expanded by 12% to 23.3 billion euros, "underpinned by growth in all of the geographic regions where the group is present", Inditex continued.
By comparison, H&M's sales topped the 24-billion-euro mark in 2016.
Underlying or operating profit was up 8% at five billion euros, Inditex said.
Inditex said that it opened 279 new stores in its business year, which runs from February to January, bringing the total number of stores worldwide to nearly 7,300 in 93 countries. It also created nearly 9,600 new jobs, boosting its worldwide headcount to close to 162,500.
Inditex said it would increase the dividend payout by 13% to 0.68 euros per share for 2016.Source: AFP