Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Zara profits flat as sales rise

Zara store
Inditex has 4,000 stores in 73 countries

Spanish retailer Inditex, parent of the Zara fashion chain, saw its profits barely changed during 2008, in spite of a 10% rise in sales.

The firm saw profits reach 1.25bn euros ($1.7bn; £1.1bn) in the 12 months to 31 January 2009, marking a 0.2% rise on the year before.

Sales for the period rose to 10.41bn euros after expansion abroad.

Inditex said it expected positive like-for-like-sales growth, helping push shares up 6% in morning trade.

"At the same time, we are aware that the environment is challenging," said Chief Executive Pablo Isla.

Inditex, which also owns label Massimo Dutti, has 4,000 stores across 73 nations.

Inditex, which has been growing in fast-growing economies including China and Russia, expects to open between 370 and 450 stores in 2009.

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