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Zara's owner reports sales surge

31 March 08 11:02 GMT

The owner of the Zara fashion chain, Spain's Inditex, has reported a 25% rise in 2007 net profit and says it is upbeat on sales figures for 2008.

Inditex, the world's second-largest clothing retailer, said its 1.25bn-euro ($2bn; £1bn) profit was down to the weak dollar and tight cost control.

It added that between 1 February and 23 March sales were up 17.5%.

About 40% of Inditex's sales come from Spain, which is experiencing a slowdown in overall retail sales.

Inditex, which also owns Massimo Dutti, the Pull and Bear chain and trendy teen store Bershka, said annual sales rose 15% to 9.44bn euros.

The firm, Europe's largest fashion retailer, said that it hoped to open between 560 and 640 stores during 2008.

Inditex has been expanding aggressively, especially in fast-growing economies such as China and Russia.

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