Zara store owner Inditex profit up 32 pct in H1

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MADRID (AP) — Spanish clothes retailer Inditex, which owns the Zara store chain, has posted a 32 percent increase in first-half net profit as it continued expanding in emerging markets.

Inditex said Wednesday that sales for the first six months of the year were €7.2 billion ($9.4 billion), up 17 percent on last year. This generated net profit of €944 million ($1.23 billion).

Inditex SA said it opened 166 stores during the first half, bringing the total across five continents to 5,693. It highlighted store openings in Colombia and Brazil as well as the launching of online sales for Zara in China.

Founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega, Inditex operates eight brands including Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull & Bear and Oysho.

Company shares rose 0.7 percent at €91.9 in morning trading in Madrid.

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