Fashion giant Inditex, owner of the Zara chain, has posted a surge in first-half sales and profits.

Revenues climbed 14 per cent to €4.6 billion (£3.67 billion), generating a 7 per cent increase in net profit to €406 million (£323.5 million).

Inditex said that international sales outside Spain represented 65.2 per cent of the total. A third of store openings during the period were in Asia and Eastern Europe, where the retailer intends to open more than 500 shops in 2008 and 2009.

Asia and Eastern Europe now account for 16.9 per cent of sales, compared with 11 per cent two years ago. Western Europe remains the biggest contributor, accounting for 35 per cent of total sales.

Inditex said that Uterqüe, its accessories chain launched in July, had gone down well with shoppers. “Sales performance over the first few weeks has been better than the company expected, given the excellent reception to the commercial proposal by the public,” the retailer said.

At present, there are 15 Uterqüe shops in Inditiex’s home market, Spain, but stores will be opened in Greece and Portugal before the fiscal year-end.

Inditex reported that second-half performance so far was similar to that in the first half.