Weaker consumer sentiment is not affecting fashion empire Inditex, which has seen sales jump by 12% in the first half of 2011.
The Spanish retail giant, controlled by billionaire Amancio Ortega, reported net sales of €6.2 billion during the first half of this year, up from €5.5 billon during the same period in 2010.
During a conference call with analysts today (21 September), non-family member Pablo Isla, chairman and chief executive of the company, said he believes there are “significant growth opportunities for Inditex globally”.
Asia is becoming a key market for the group, he said, with the region now accounting for 17% of sales, up from 15% a year ago.
The company, which includes brands such as Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius and Oysho, is planning to launch an online Zara store in Japan later this year, cashing in on growing demand for consumer goods and fast fashion in the region.
Isla added: “In the coming months Zara will launch stores in new markets such as South Africa, Taiwan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Peru, confirming the global reach of our business model.”
However, Spain (26%) and the rest of Europe (45%) continue to account for the majority of group’s sales.
Ortega, who founded Inditex as a family business with his then-wife Rosalia Mera, stepped down as chairman of the company in January. His daughter Marta is expected to eventually take control of the group, although a company spokesman refused to comment on this.