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Inditex posts H1 results, excellent reception to Uterqüe

Sep '08
The sales of the Inditex Group amounted to 4,561 million euros in the first six months of the 2008 financial year, 14% more than in the same period last year in local currencies and constant perimeter. The net profit grew by 7% excluding the pre-tax gain in 1H2007 related to change in perimeter.

The sales in international stores have grown by 300 basis points over the first half of 2007 and now represent 65.2% of the total.

The Group has generated 3,030 new jobs over the first six months of the 2008 financial year, achieving a total of 82,547 employees around the world.

In the first six months of the financial year, Inditex commenced activity in two new markets: Ukraine and South Korea, countries which are especially representative of the current international growth of the Group.

In Asian and Eastern European markets, with high growth potential, one third of the openings of the period have taken place. Inditex expects to more than double the current commercial area in this region and to open over 500 stores in 2008 and 2009.

The sales in countries in this area are growing at a very significant rate, and are especially important in countries such as Russia and China, where sales have increased by 64% over the first half of 2007.

The whole area of Asia and Eastern Europe has gone from representing 11% of total sales two years ago to 16.9% now.

All over the world, the eight Inditex concepts opened 249 stores between 1st February and 31st July this year. The Group had at that time a total of 3,940 stores in 70 countries and plans to open store number 4,000 next Sunday, 21st September, in the district of Ginza, Tokyo.

In the final part of this period, Uterqüe, the new Group concept specialising in accessories, initiated its activity. It now has 15 stores. The sales over the first weeks have exceeded company expectations.

The sales of the Inditex Group in the first half from 1st February to 31st July 2008- increased by 14% in local currencies and constant perimeter with regard to the same period in 2007, achieving the figure of 4,561 million euros. The net profit rose to 406 million euros, which is an increase of 7%.

International Presence:
The Group has continued to increase its international presence, with special attention to the Asian and Eastern European markets, where a third of the new openings have taken place.

As a consequence, international sales now represent 65.2% of the total, in comparison with 62.2% in the same period of the previous financial year. With regard to distribution by geographical area, Western Europe accentuated its position as the region with the greatest contribution to Group operations, representing 37.5% of the total sales, very much ahead of Spain.

Importance of the Asia-Eastern Europe area:
In this regard, the increase in the contribution of sales of stores located in the Asian and Eastern European markets, where sales were 16.9% of the total, in comparison with 14.3% a year earlier and 11% two years ago, is also important. Particularly outstanding in this strategy of growth are such countries as Russia and China, where sales have increased by 64% in total over the last year.

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