Zara-owner Inditex profits from global expansion

Inditex workers at a factory in Morocco
Image caption Global expansion is helping to drive increased sales

The world's largest clothes retailer, Inditex, has reported a sharp rise in profits and sales as it continues to open new stores and take on staff.

The owner of the Zara fashion chain said net income for the first six months of the year was 717m euros ($981m; £625m), up 14% on the 628m euros it made a year earlier.

Net sales rose by 12% to 6.2bn euros.

While luxury brands have generally performed well during the downturn, many High Street brands have struggled.

In a short statement, Inditex said it had opened 177 stores during the period and had nearly 10% more staff than a year ago.

The group said Zara planned to enter South Africa, Taiwan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Peru in the coming months.

Inditex's other brands include Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka.

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