Inditex, the Spanish retailing giant that owns the Zara group, says it plans to open more Irish stores when it finds suitable outlets.
The group, which has global sales of about €17 billion, recently filed accounts for a number of its Irish operations, including Zara, youth fashion outlets Bershka and Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and the mid-market Massimo Dutti.
Inditex’s retail brands here all had flat or slightly lower sales in the year to the end of January, with the cost of store revamps hitting profits.
The group says it will open “stores as soon as suitable opportunities arise” to capitalise on the nascent retail recovery.
Inditex is known to have retained property consultants to find new locations in Ireland, including Dublin and Cork.
Za Clothing, the main Inditex company here that operates the nine Zara stores, had flat revenues in the year of about €56.7 million. Its net profits fell from €5.3 million to just over €3 million. The company, which has 31 Irish staff, paid a €3.3 million dividend to its Spanish parent.
Bershka, the youth fashion group that operates four stores in Dublin and one in Cork, accounts for 10 per cent of Inditex’s sales worldwide. Its sales in the year to the end of January slipped by €1 million from €10.2 million, while it more than tripled its Irish losses to €1.2 million.
Pull & Bear, Inditex’s brand that operates stores on Henry Street and in Dundrum, held sales at about €5.5 million but made a loss of €776,000. The Stradivarius brand, which operates in Dublin and Newbridge, made a loss of €234,000 from its two stores.
Massimo Dutti, which opened a store on Grafton Street in January to add to its Dundrum outlet, increased sales slightly to €4.5 million.
Overall, the Inditex group’s Irish retail outlets had combined sales of almost €80 million.
Inditex also operates its internet sales operation using an Irish company, ITX Fashion, which handles orders for Europe, Japan and the US.
It had revenues of €325 million in the year to the end of January, up from €307 million. The company made a net profit of €45 million, up 10 per cent on the previous year.
ITX Fashion, which has 21 staff, has retained earnings of €107 million and is sitting on a cash pile of €88 million. The company, which is owned by the Dutch arm of Inditex, paid about €6.5 million in Irish corporation tax last year.