Zara owner targets China after profits soar in 2010

Inditex, the world's largest clothing retailer, is to accelerate its opening programme in China this year after the group grew annual profits by nearly a third in 2010.

The Spanish fashion group, which owns the Zara brand and now operates in 77 countries, opened 75 stores in China for the year to 31 January, including 45 Bershka, Pull and Bear and Stradivarius shops. The fashion group also opened a flagship Massimo Dutti shop in Shanghai, and plans to have stores in 42 Chinese cities by the end of this year, up from 30 in 2010.

Pablo Isla, the chief executive of Inditex, which plans to open the doors on 120 Chinese stores this year, said: "2011 will be a year of strong acceleration in China." Mr Isla will become chairman of the group later this year, taking over from founder Amancio Ortega. He made his comments as Inditex, which has more than 5,000 stores globally, including in the UK, grew its annual net profit by 32 per cent to €1.73bn (£1.5bn), boosted by an uplift in its margins in the year to the end of January.

The company also allayed worries about cost pressures, saying that it expected keep half the margin gains it has made in the past year.

Over the year, Inditex opened 437 stores in 45 countries, but this year will open up to 500 new outlets. In 2010, Inditex made its debut in India, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria.

The group described the response from customers in India as "extraordinary", which has convinced it to open stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other Indian cities this year. Inditex described its expansion of 160 shops last year in Asia as "rapid" and sales on the continent now account for 15 per cent of group sales. On a like-for-like basis on stores open at least a year, Inditex grew sales by 3 per cent, compared to it being flat the previous year.

Zara introduced its first online stores in Europe, including in the UK, in September and will launch on the web in the US and Japan this year. It plans to have all its brands online by the end of the year. While Inditex is best known for Zara in the UK, it is looking expand its Pull and Bear and Bershka stores here this year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions