Expansion into commerce boosts Inditex sales

Zara owner introduces RFID track technology to make operations more efficient

Photograph: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Photograph: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

 

Inditex reported an acceleration in sales as the Zara owner benefited from its expansion into e-commerce and other technologies that make retail more efficient.

Sales rose 7.5 per cent to €19.8 billion in the nine months through October, meeting analysts’ estimates. The company maintained its forecast for like-for-like sales growth of 4 per cent to 6 per cent this year.

Inditex’s introduction of RFID tracking technology, which makes it easier to manage inventory and frees up employees to spend more time with customers, is boosting sales, Richard Chamberlain, an analyst at RBC Europe, has said.

Operating profit came in a hair ahead of analysts’ estimates. Changes in international accounting standards have lifted operating profit this year, mostly related to how Inditex deals with leases. Analysts have said that makes predictions difficult.

Inditex is adding Anne Lange, a French tech entrepreneur, to its board. She co-founded Mentis, a software startup specialised in the internet of things, making her well-placed to advise on matters such as RFID.

The stock has gained 28 per cent this year, on track for the first annual increase in three years. The stock quintupled in the eight years after the financial crisis as it withstood a consumer downturn. – Bloomberg