Zara founder Amancio Ortega set for £1.1bn payout as fashion chain posts record sales

Before Wednesday’s windfall, the Spaniard’s net worth stood at $72bn, according to Forbes, making him the world’s fourth richest person

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The founder of fashion chain Zara is set for a bumper €1.26bn (£1.1bn) payout after a the retailer posted a record year of sales.

Amancio Ortega has been awarded the cash as part of his share of an overall €1.9bn dividend paid out by Zara’s parent Inditex. It takes Mr Ortega’s total earnings from the world’s largest clothes retailer to more than €6bn since 2010.

Before Wednesday’s windfall, the Spaniard’s net worth stood at $72 bn (£58bn), according to Forbes, making him the world’s fourth richest person behind Bill Gates ($86.bn), Warren Buffett ($78.3bn) and Jeff Bezos ($73.4bn).

​Inditex, which also owns Massimo Dutti and Bershka, increased like-for-like sales 10 per cent in the year to 31 January. Net revenue jumped 12 per cent to €23.3bn while net income climbed 10 per cent to €3.2bn.

Chief executive Pablo Isla said: “These are a positive set of results against a backdrop of strong prior-year performance.

“This is a direct result of the commitment, spirit and ambition of all the professionals comprising the group, their dedication to the company, passion for fashion and focus on sustainability”.

The company opened 279 stores worldwide last year, taking its total number to almost 7,300. It now employs 162,450 people after taking on another 9,600 staff in 2016. 

Zara has made its name by borrowing ideas from the catwalk and giving them a more high street-friendly style and price tag.

It has mastered the art of fast fashion and is now able to take a coat from a designer’s brain and onto shelves in just 25 days.

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