Sep 17, 2008
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Zara owner Inditex H1 net profit up 3 percent

Sep 17, 2008

Inditex Zara fall-winter 2008/2009

MADRID, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Europe's biggest clothing retailer Inditex said on Wednesday it saw "no significant risks or uncertainties" for the second half as it reported a 3 percent rise in net profit to 406 million euros.

A Reuters poll of 11 analysts had forecast net profit at the owner of the Zara chain of 416 million euros ($590.4 million) on sales of 4.55 billion euros for the period from May to July.

Sales were up 11 percent at 4.56 billion euros, broadly in line with the poll forecast of 4.55 billion.

Like-for-like sales -- which excludes sales growth from new store openings -- grew 1 percent in the first half.

Inditex has previously said it is targeting like-for-like sales growth for the full year of 4 percent.

At the end of July, Inditex said it had 3,940 stores worldwide, ranging from the teen fashion brand Bershka to more upmarket Massimo Dutti. Inditex said it opened a net 44 outlets in the 12-month period to the end of July.

Inditex said 65 percent of its sales are now outside its home country Spain, where it is facing a sharp consumer slowdown.

The retailer is progressively reducing its exposure to its home market through openings particularly in eastern Europe and Asia. (Reporting by Sarah Morris, editing by Will Waterman)

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