Retail in Asia

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Asian growth drives Zara owner Inditex 2011 profit

Spanish group Inditex, the world’s leading clothes retailer, posted perky February sales figures on Wednesday and announced a 12.5 percent dividend rise as it aggressively expanded into fast-growing Asia.

The retailer has outpaced rivals during the downturn in austerity-wracked Europe, and now has more than 5,500 stores across about 80 countries. The company will launch Zara online in China this winter.

The owner of fast fashion chain Zara met expectations with a 2 percent rise in full-year net profit to EUR1.9 billion (USD2.51b), with one analyst saying results in the fourth quarter were better than forecast.