Several European family businesses have posted encouraging results for 2012, with Inditex, Merck, Mercadona and Henkel all reporting strong revenue increases.
On 13 March, Spanish clothing giant Inditex said revenues for its fiscal 2012 were €15.9 billion – an increase of 16% on 2011's figures.
The group, owned by Amancio Ortega, saw profits jump 22% to €2.3 billion, bolstered by the opening of 482 new stores and strong online sales.
Inditex is the world's largest fashion retailer, and counts Zara, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius among its brands.
Fellow Spaniard Mercadona, the low-cost supermarket chain controlled by Roig family, also defied the country's economic woes and published a 7% increase in revenue to €19 billion for 2012 – up from €17.8 billion in 2011.
The company, headed by second-generation chief executive Juan Roig, created 4,000 new jobs over the course of the year. Looking to 2013, Roig said in a statement: "Mercadona is going to maintain its focus on quality employment."
Meanwhile, in Germany, technology business Merck recently reported revenues of €11.2 billion for 2012 – an 8.7% increase on 2011's results of €10.3 billion.
The group cited strong sales in North America and emerging markets as the reason for its success, protecting it from the continuing difficult conditions in Europe. Sales of liquid crystals, produced by one its divisions, were particularly strong – fuelled by demand for the latest electronic gadgets.
Merck also undertook extensive restructuring across all its divisions to improve efficiency, which led to savings of €115 million.
The company, which is 70% owned by the eponymous founding family through parent company Merck KG, is best known for its pharmaceutical division.
Henkel, the German consumer goods company, also had a great fiscal 2012, announcing its most successful year ever on 3 March. Controlled by the eponymous founding family, the company said revenues increased 3.8% to €16.5 billion from €15.6 billion in 2011.
It recorded sales increases in all three of its business sectors – laundry and home care, adhesives and beauty products.
Non-family chief executive Kasper Rorsted said in a statement: "We have substantially strengthened Henkel's competitiveness, establishing a strong foundation for future growth."
Elsewhere, Sabanci Holdings, run by eponymous family, published a 17% increase in revenues to 26 billion Turkish lira (€11 billion).
The family-controlled company – one of Turkey's largest conglomerates – said it would be focusing on its renewable energy operations over the coming year. Sabanci has a 50% stake in energy company Enerjisa. German company Eon holds the other 50%.