Spanish retailer Inditex books €421m profit in first quarter

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

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. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

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. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

 

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