Zara's profits jump on strong global sales

image captionZara is expanding quickly around the world

The owner of fashion chain Zara has seen its quarterly profits soar 63%, boosted by the upturn in the global economy and new store openings.

Inditex made a net profit of 301m euros ($360m; £249m) in the first three months of 2010, up from 184m euros for the same quarter of last year.

Total sales at the Spanish company increased by 14% to 2.7bn euros.

Inditex opened a further 98 stores around the world during the quarter, bringing its total to 4,700.

The results were better than market expectations. Analysts said Zara had been helped by its ability to respond quickly to changes in fashion trends.

"They [Zara] are in a habit now of beating expectations virtually every quarter," said Peter Farren, analyst at Bryan Garnier.

Zara has also benefited from its ability to ride out the recession in Spain, which has led to many independent clothing retailers in its home market closing.

Inditex is still run by founder Amancio Ortega, Spain's richest man. His wealth was recently valued at $25bn by Forbes magazine.

Zara recently announced that it had opened its first store in India.

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