In the last quarter Inditex’s gross margin rose by three tenths compared to the same period of the previous year. The increase in margins also happened at the same time as a reduction in inventories for the second quarter in a row. This was the most profitable period of the year for the group. Efficiencies allowed operating expenses to be kept under strict control during the first nine months of 2019.
However, the recovery achieved in 2019, of three tenths compared to the third quarter of 2018, is moderate. In the fourth quarter of 2018 Inditex’s margin improved only 0.15 points compared to the same period of the previous year. From 2014 to 2017, when practically no one was paying attention to profitability, Inditex was repeatedly losing margin during the third quarter. In this period of 2014, the company’s gross margin stood at 61.2 per cent, almost one point less than a year earlier. This rose to 60.1 per cent a year later, to 59.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 and 59.4 per cent to the same period of 2017. In 2018, the group changed its evolution: in the third quarter of that year, margin recovered by more than one point, up to 60.5 per cent of revenue.