Inditex net sales climb 3% in the first six months, 8% in local currencies

  • Net sales surpass €12bn for the first time in a first-half to €12.03bn.
  • Like-for-like sales growth of 4% and positive in all geographies.
  • Net profit beat first-half records reaching €1.4 billion, up 3% year-on-year.
  • Chairman and CEO of Inditex, Pablo Isla, noted "the strong first-half results are the result of a solid sales and operating performance, arising from the unique strength of the Group’s integrated and sustainable business model".
  • The Group continues to execute its strategy of enhancing its fully integrated store and online platform. Last week, during the opening of the major flagship on Milan’s Corso Vittorio Emanuele, it announced that all of its brands will be available online worldwide by 2020.
  • Autumn/Winter initial collections have been well received. Management estimates like-for-like sales growth of 4-6% over the second half of 2018.


Inditex Group net sales rose by 3% in the first half of 2018 (1 February - 31 July) to mark a new record for the period of €12.03 billion, underpinned by growth across all of its geographical markets. This was in spite of the strength of the euro, with sales growth in local currencies of 8%. Like-for-like sales growth over the period was 4%.

Combined with solid operating performance net profi t reached €1.4 billion, up 3% from a year earlier (1H17: €1.37 billion).

Chairman and CEO of Inditex, Pablo Isla, noted "the strong fi rst-half is the result of a solid sales and operating performance, arising from the unique strength of the Group’s integrated and sustainable business model".

Autumn/Winter initial collections have been well received. Management forecasts like-forlike sales growth of 4-6% over the second half of 2018.


KEY FIGURES (€ millions)

  1H 2018 1H 2017 18/17 In local currency
Net sales 12,025 11,671 3% 8%
Gross profit
Gross margin

6,817
56.7%
 

6,582
56.4%
 
4% 10%
EBITDA 2,343 2,292 2% 14%
EBIT 1,784 1,744 2% 17%
Net profit 1,409 1,366 3%  

 

I. 1H18 HIGHLIGHTS

The reporting period was once again defined by investments in enhancing and upgrading stores, with the introduction of advanced technology as part of the Group’s fully integrated store and online strategy. By the end of the period, the Group had 7,422 stores in 96 markets with fully integrated online sales in 49 of those markets.

Inditex also continues to roll out its integrated stock management system. This system makes it possible to fulfil online customer orders with store inventory – helping to shorten delivery times and enhance customer service. To date, integrated stock management is in place in Zara stores in 25 markets, with plans to be in all of Zara’s 48 markets in which it sells online by the end of the year and across all of the Group’s brands by 2020. This advanced platform is possible thanks to radio frequency identification technology (RFID), which is already fully deployed at Zara and Uterqüe globally. The technology is currently being rolled out across the rest of the brands globally for completion across the whole group by 2020.

Furthermore, by 2020, the Group plans to sell all its brands online throughout the world as well as to complete its eco-efficient store plan. "These developments mean that by 2020 Inditex will be a fully integrated, fully eco-efficient and fully digital company", said Pablo Isla during the opening of the iconic Zara store at Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.

The Group also continues to invest in the modernisation of its logistics facilities helped by new technology. In August, it started operating its new 90,000m2 logistics centre in A Laracha (A Coruña, Spain), devoted to supplying the factories with fabric. Meanwhile, work continues on the Lelystad (Netherlands) logistics hub.

In May, the Group also completed an 80,000m2 expansion at its head offices in Arteixo (A Coruña, Spain).

II. UPDATE STORE BASE

In line with its strategy of enhancing its global, fully integrated store and online platform, all of the Group’s brands opened flagship stores in all regions as well as undertaking expansions and refurbishments to introduce the latest technology to improve the shopping experience and introduce eco-efficiency measures.

In May, Zara opened a new store of over 4,000m2 in Bilbao (Spain) in one of the city’s most emblematic buildings on the Gran Via. It also opened new stores in León and Badajoz, to expand the sales space in these cities following relocations.

In parallel, the brand reopened its store in Stratford (London, UK), where it introduced new technology and added a new online section, alongside the usual brand’s sections.

During the last quarter Zara also opened flagship stores in the Beverly Center in Los Ángeles (California, US), the Plaza Mall in McAllen (Texas, US), and in other shopping centres in Marseille (France), Teramo (Italy), Shenzhen and Changsha (China), Singapore and Istanbul (Turkey). And in August, Zara opened a 4,500m2 flagship store on Carl Johans gate in Oslo (Norway).

During the period, Zara also extended its stores in Galleria in St Petersburg (Russia), the Yitian Holiday Plaza in Shenzhen (China), VivoCity in Singapore and in cities such as Santiago de Cali and Medellín (Colombia), Molfetta (Italy) and Varna (Bulgaria). In August, following an extensive refurbishment, Zara reopened its flagship store in Roppongi Hills in Tokyo (Japan), having kept a pop-up store open for online orders in the meantime.

Last week Inditex reopened the iconic Zara store on Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, unveiling an updated image and introducing a new online section equipped with an automated online order pick-up point with the capacity to handle up to 900 orders simultaneously. Zara also launched fully-integrated online sales in Australia and New Zealand in March.

Massimo Dutti, meanwhile, opened high-profile stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and Nanning (China) and Gdańsk (Poland) during the second quarter, as well as expanding its store in the Parc Central shopping centre in Tarragona, the Solana centre in Beijing (China), Istinye Park in Istanbul (Turkey) and its store in Jakarta Selatan (Indonesia).

Other highlights from the quarter included Zara Home’s arrival in Georgia and the Ukraine and Oysho’s début in Lithuania. Other prominent openings and expansions included the Bershka stores in San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador), where Stradivarius and Pull&Bear also launched for the first time, and Changsha (China), where Oysho and Zara Home also opened stores. Bershka and Pull&Bear also opened stores in Dnipropetrosvk (Ukraine) and Shenzhen Upper Hills (China).

Pull&Bear opened a new store in Liege (Belgium) and, alongside the other Group brands Zara Home, Oysho and Stradivarius, in Forum Dansk (Poland), where Zara Home also launched a store in Magnolia Park, Wroclaw. Zara Home also opened its doors in the Pavi Shopping Complex in Qormi (Malta), while Oysho made its début in the ABC Achrafieh in Beirut (Lebanon) and Changsha (China); Stradivarius opened in Shenzhen (China) and the Manar City shopping centre in Tunisia.

A key highlight of the summer was the launch of Uterqüe’s online sales platform in China through Tmall. In the coming months, the brand will also open a store at West Nanjing Road in Shanghai. The brand also opened a new store in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain).

All of the brands also completed prominent store expansions, relocations and refurbishments, notable among which were the Bershka stores in Ermou (Greece) and the Mecca (Saudi Arabia), the Stradivarius store in Zagreb (Croatia), the Pull&Bear stores in Pamplona (Spain) and Singapore, the Oysho store in Portal de L’Àngel (Barcelona, Spain) and the Zara Home store in Elche, alongside Massimo Dutti and Oysho.

III. COMMERCIAL INITIATIVES

Innovation and creativity continued to inspire the Group’s pioneering commercial initiatives during the reporting period, such as the use of augmented reality technology by Zara in more than 130 stores worldwide and a new See Now Buy Now catwalk show by Massimo Dutti, this time in Shanghai (China), which was broadcast live on social media.

Zara, as part of its desire to share its passion for fashion with everyone, launched a special collection called VIEW.S. Born from a collaboration between the brand and bright young stars from the world of art and design, VIEW.S opens the window to new ideas and influences.

The first VIEW.S collections came to light in Japan as a result of a project between the Zara Man design team and Bunka Gakuen University. This design school, located in the heart of Shinjuku (Tokyo), cultivates a unique and pioneering philosophy for the study of fashion and creative lifestyle. The university articulates its international fashion studies curriculum around three key concepts: globalisation, innovation and creativity.

The VIEW.S finalist Bunka students are, together with the Zara Man design team, responsible for a collection of 15 garments, including outerwear, shirts, trousers and T-shirts, which was shot by Alessio Bolzoni.

Bershka, meanwhile, launched a new collection designed by artist Miley Cyrus for Converse in May. To mark the launch, Miley invited some of her biggest fans of different genders, orientations and backgrounds to join her for the collection lookbook, which was photographed by the legendary Ellen Von Unwerth and captured the singer’s energetic, brave and inclusive nature.

In June, Oysho unveiled its first pop-up gym, the Oysho Sport Hub, a new space devoted to six sporting disciplines: light box, cycling, surf’s up, yoga, functional zone and fitness ballet. Inspired by technology, this new entertainment area is designed to provide a sporting and interactive experience in which music and lighting play a key role in maximising the intensity of each form of exercise, urging participants to up their game. This initiative is underway in Moscow, Madrid, Istanbul and Milan.

Zara Home added to its selection of personal care products with hand cream, a new eau de toilette format and a travel pack with three of the fragrances from The Perfume Collection. The brand also held its SuperBrand Day in China in May, featuring the well-known actress Song Jia as brand ambassador under the slogan ‘Blooming Your Room’.

Uterqüe published its third art book, this time devoted to its greatest sources of inspiration – its muses – in a series of portraits of 10 women created by Madrid artist Inés Maestre, known as the "Hopper of the millennials". These ten muses put a face on all the women who, in different corners of the world, are part of the brand’s essence and fill the pages of the brand’s newest limited-edition book of which there are just 500 copies. The original Maestre works were exhibited from 7 May in the windows of ten of the chain’s most emblematic stores around the world.

For the fourth year in a row, Stradivarius celebrated its Summer Expedition, an adventure organised in collaboration with the airline Vueling and which on this occasion headed for the Amalfi coast in Italy. In all, 12 international influencers, who between them boast 9 million followers on Instagram, joined this new expedition to learn about Stradivarius’s looks for summer 2018. The influencers included Italy’s well-known Valentina Ferragni, Spanish model Laura Escanes, Polish it-girl @Maffashion and Mexican Youtuber Sheryl Rubio.

IV. SUSTAINABILITY

Framed by its commitment to sustainability and, particulaly biodiversity, the Group’s various brands continued to add to the collections marketed under the Join Life label which promotes best practices in the choice of raw materials and production processes. The goal is to lift the volume of items sold under this label to 118 million units in 2018 (annual growth of 60%). To this end, during the first half, Zara, Massimo Dutti and Oysho continued to expand their collections under this sustainability label, while Pull&Bear, Bershka, Zara Home and Uterqüe launched their first Join Life collections.

Sustainability also inspired other initiatives pursued by the Group’s different brands, such as the Zara Kids ‘Re-use, Enjoy and Play!’ project, which consists of video tutorials which teach young children how to give their old clothing a second life. By following the tutorials they learn how to create cushions or interactive books so as to give a fun second life to clothing they no longer use and prevent them from being disposed of unnecessarily.

Along this same line, the Closing the Loop programme for the collection of used clothing for donation to various NGOs, is up and running in 961 stores in 21 markets, all of which are equipped with collection containers. In addition, there are nearly 1,800 containers on Spanish streets thanks to a project with Caritas. The Group has also set up an at-home collection programme in Spain, and this programme has also recently been expanded to the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai. Over 25,000 tonnes of used clothing have been collected since the programme’s launch and the goal is to expand its presence to 2,000 stores in 40 markets by 2020.

The company’s economic, environmental and social perfomance continues to earn it accolades.

Recently, Inditex joined Fortune magazine’s Change the World list, taking fourth spot. This prestigious publication bases its selection on a range of sustainability indicators. In the case of Inditex it flagged the programmes run to promote women’s empowerment, along with the best labour practices across its supply chain.

V. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The company held its annual general meeting on 17 July 2018, providing its shareholders with an insight into the Group’s growth in 2017. In addition, its chairman and CEO, Pablo Isla, highlighted the sustained growth posted over the years and the economic, social and environmental value created by the Group thanks its integrated and sustainable store and online business model.

As ratified at the Annual General Meeting, the company will pay an ordinary final dividend and a special dividend totalling €0.375 per share, on 2 November 2018, thereby completing the €0.75 per share dividend declared against 2017 earnings.