Zara-parent Inditex says pre-Christmas trading strongWednesday 11 December 2013 08.00
Zara owner Inditex, the world's largest clothing retailer, said sales rose 10% in the first six weeks of the fourth quarter, the run-up to Christmas, after posting flat nine-month net profit.
The final quarter is the most important of the year to retailers and companies are hoping to benefit from early signs of recovery in Europe, especially in Inditex's home - Spain.
The retailer, which runs 6,249 stores globally including Ireland, posted nine-month profit to the end of October of €1.67 billion, in line with forecasts in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached €2.78 billion on sales of €11.93 billion, also in line with expectations.
The company, which operates brands like teen label Bershka and upmarket chain Massimo Dutti, has seen growth crimped this year due to currencies in some of its 86 markets losing value against a strong euro.
It has also found it difficult to top 2012, when the company's ability to push out small collections using a strong and efficient supply chain delivered particularly well.