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ARTEIXO – Spanish fashion giant Inditex has reported first-quarter net profits of €421m, easily beating analysts’ expectations. However, the figure is still a third below pre-pandemic levels for the same period a year ago. Revenues for the quarter reached €4.9bn, up 48 per cent on the first quarter of 2020. Online sales rose two-thirds from last year, suggesting a permanent shift online for some shoppers.

Inditex said sales were higher across all geographies and every brand despite the fact that 24 per cent of trading hours were unavailable due to lockdowns and restrictions. 16 per cent of the group’s stores remained closed at the end of the quarter.

Inditex’s executive chairman, Pablo Isla, highlighted how “our differentiation and strategic transformation towards a fully integrated, digital and sustainable model continues to bear fruit supported by the commitment displayed by all the people who work at Inditex.”

One of the highlights of the reporting period was the trend in gross profit, which amounted to €2.96bn, lifting gross margin to 59.9 per cent, 152 basis points above the 58.4 per cent recorded in 1Q20 and 47 basis points above that of 1Q19.

Thanks to the solid earnings performance, the group’s net cash reached €7.2bn at the reporting period, up 25 per cent from a year earlier, and the highest in a first quarter.

By the start of the second quarter, as of 7 June, 98 per cent of the group’s stores were open.

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