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Inditex's sales growth heads North despite warm autumn

Inditex, the world's biggest clothing retailer and owner of Zara, has reported a rise of 9 per cent in its nine-month profit. It also announced that its sales growth accelerated in recent weeks, despite warmer than usual autumn weather in many European countries.

As its fashion peers struggle to adapt to changing consumer tastes, with Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap posting dismal fourth-quarter sales last month, Inditex's fast-fashion business and online prowess have kept it ahead. The company is known for speedily reacting to changing trends and weather by keeping its manufacturing bases close to its distribution centre in the northern Spanish region of Galicia.

Items such velvet dresses, military blazers and mini skirts helped push sales up 14.5 per cent in local currencies in the nine months to Oct. 31.Net profit was up 9 per cent at 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion), while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 8.4 per cent at 3.6 billion euros, both results in line with anaysts' forecasts, according to a poll.

With over 7,200 stores in 93 markets, Inditex has desisted from opening many new store as its primary driver of growth. Instead, it is setting up large flagship stores in key locations and tying in its online business.