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Inditex H1 profits and sales up on tech investments

Inditex Group, the world's biggest fashion retailer and owner of brands including Zara, Masimmo Dutti and Bershka, has reported a rise in sales and profits for the first half, boosted by investments in stores as well as in logistics and technology.

Net sales for the six months to 31 July were up 7% to EUR12.82bn (US$14bn), while like-for-like sales were up 5%, underpinned by growth across all brands and regions, stores and online.

Net profit was up 10% year-on year to EUR1.55bn, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) surging 47% to EUR3.44bn, and EBIT up 14% to $2bn.

Inditex's executive chairman, Pablo Isla, underscored the "'strong first half performance reflected in these figures, with like-for-like growth across all brands and geographies. The investments we have made in the stores as well as in logistics and technology have been key elements in the development of our customer-focused integrated online and offline store platform."

New investments in-store include "cutting-edge technology" in order to facilitate integration with Inditex's ever-increasing e-commerce and also in line with its eco-efficient store programme, already in place in most of the brands' stores.

More than EUR1.5bn has been invested in technology and logistics upgrades during the last five years – including the deployment of RFID technology at the Zara, Masimmo Dutti and Uterque stores to provide customers with a seamlessly integrated online-offline experience. The plan is to deploy this technology across the rest of the group's brands in 2018 with full rollout scheduled for 2020.

The first half of 2019 also saw the online platform launch across most of the Middle East, Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia ad Serbia and Israel. The company says all of its brands will be available online worldwide by 2020.

Inditex also owns the Pull&Bear, Oysho and Stradivarius brands.

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