Zara owner Inditex's expansion policy lifts profits

Zara store, Moscow
Image caption The Inditex group operates stores in 77 countries

Inditex, which owns fashion chain Zara, has beaten forecasts after reporting a 68% rise in first-half net profit.

The Spanish group said profit rose to 628m euros ($835m; £533m), helped by an aggressive growth push. Group net sales rose 14% to 5.5bn euros.

The group highlighted its expansion in Asia, in particular its entry into the Indian market, where it opened three Zara stores in the second quarter.

Inditex said 15% of total store sales came from Asia, up from 12% last year.

Earlier this month, Inditex launched online shopping for its flagship Zara brand in six European countries.

It said customer reception had been "satisfactory", and it planned to roll it out in a further five European countries in the second half of this year, before launching in the US, Canada, Japan and South Korea next year.

Inditex also owns the Bershka, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear brands.

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