Spanish retailer Inditex books €421m profit in first quarter

Post-lockdown shopping sprees see sales surge in May and June

Spanish retail giant Inditex reported a first-quarter net profit of €421 million on Wednesday, beating analysts' expectations but still a third below pre-pandemic levels in the same February-April period.

Net sales in the owner of the Zara chain of stores reached €4.9 billion, 25 per cent more than in the first quarter of 2020 but still below 2019 levels of €5.93 billion.

Online sales were up 67 per cent from last year as lockdowns kept stores across the world closed or operating under capacity for much of the quarter due to pandemic-related restrictions.

Inditex said sales in May and so far in June were twice as high as in the same period last year as customers splashed out on post-lockdown shopping sprees. The strong sales came despite stores operating with 10 per cent less trading hours due to pandemic-related limitations.


"Week after week we are seeing store traffic recovering," chairman Pablo Isla said during a conference call, adding: "We are seeing a progressive recovery."

The post-lockdown spike mirrored results from rivals including Next and Abercrombie & Fitch, although some industry analysts have forecast that the uplift could be temporary as high savings rates may dampen spending. – Reuters