Tighter management of costs and stocks as well as better than expected sales because of good weather during the summer helped Europe’s biggest clothing retailer, Inditex, report a fall in profit that was less than had been feared. The owner of the Zara chain said that net profit was down 7.6 percent in the first half of the year.
The company, which has nearly 4,500 shops in 73 countries, said it made a net profit of 375 million euros in the first half, with sales up nine percent calculated in local currencies. It also announced long-awaited plans to launch Zara online next year.At the same time Next, which is Britain’s second-largest fashion chain, and a big presence online, announced a 6.9 percent rise in first-half pretax profit at just over 208 million euros. It also raised its forecast for the full year though remained cautious on the prospects for consumer spending as unemployment climbs.