Zara owner Inditex has posted a leap in first-quarter profits driven by soaring sales as the fast-fashion giant eyes international online expansion.

The Spanish fashion retailer said profits spiked 18% to €654m (£575m) in the three months to April 30 on sales up 14% to €5.6bn (£4.83bn).

Margins rose slightly, from 58.1% a year ago to 58.2% now.

Online expansion

Zara launched ecommerce platforms in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam during the quarter and is poised to expand its online offer to India later this year.

The group has an online presence in 44 countries.

As well as its online expansion, Inditex opened 30 new stores during the quarter, taking its global bricks-and-mortar portfolio to 7,385 in 93 countries.

Analysts at RBC Capital said: “Inditex continues to set the bar in terms of global multichannel growth, with strong like-for-like sales and an improving trend in free cash flow.”