Spanish textiles titan just misses double-digit like-for-like rise
Zara parent Inditex increased its full-year profit before tax last year by 41 per cent to Eu628 million. The Spanish fashion retailer said net sales increased by 23 per cent to Eu5.7 billion compared with 2003.

Like-for-like sales grew by 9 per cent over the year. Inditex opened 322 stores last year, and now operates 2,244 shops in 56 countries.

Analyst Deutsche Bank said the retailer plans to continue an ambitious expansion strategy, almost doubling its store portfolio and extending its reach to 70 countries in the next five years. The analyst calculated that this rate of expansion would mean roughly the same yearly number of store openings as last year, a feat it believes is achievable. However, the company's retail strategy will remain unchanged.

Deutsche Bank said: 'The strategy is broadly one of more of the same, with the decision taken to continue to focus on the European market, to grow organically and through its existing brands.'