Profits at Inditex fell 1% in the nine months to October 31 to €831m after a raft of new openings, largely beating forecasts.

Total sales for the period to grew 6% to €7.8bn.  The Spanish retail giant, which runs chains including Zara and Massimo Dutti, said store sales in local currencies rose 9% between August 1 and December 6.

On October 31 Inditex had 4,530 stores across 73 countries and has opened 266 stores since the start of the year.

Inditex stressed the importance of the Asian markets for growth with new key flagship stores opened this year in Japan and China. The group now has 50 stores in Japan and over 60 in China. It said that its commitment to China was not only in its main cities but in emerging cities such as Harbin, Dalian, Qingdao, Changchun and Kunming.