The Spanish textile group Inditex, owner of Zara, obtained in the third quarter a net profit of 866 million euros (1,051 million dollars) thanks to the recovery of sales, once the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the first semester.
The result disclosed on Tuesday exceeds the expectations of analysts requested by the financial firm Factset, who were betting on a profit of 821 million euros (1,000 million dollars). However, Inditex’s result is still 26% lower than in the third quarter of last year.
The group’s sales between August and October reached 6,000 million euros (7,290 million dollars), showing a strong increase compared to the previous quarter, when the figure was 4,700 million euros (5,700 million dollars).
But they were still much lower than in the third quarter of 2019: almost 19,000 million euros (23,000 million dollars).
The result shows the recovery of operations, even when they have been affected by the health situation due to the pandemic, which forced the restriction of hours and capacity in stores, Inditex explained in a statement.
5% of its stores continued closed in the third quarter and 88% were affected by the restrictions linked to the epidemic, which were reinforced at the end of October with the second wave of infections in Europe.
In the first quarter, the group suffered a net loss of 409 million euros (500 million dollars), an unprecedented situation in almost twenty years, after having had to close 90% of its stores due to the confinements imposed against the covid- 19.
Sales recorded a strong recovery in the second quarter, thanks to the lifting of a large part of the restrictions that allowed a large part of the stores to reopen.
Inditex, which froze the 2019 dividend distribution due to the crisis, finally awarded 0.35 euros ($ 0.43) per share on November 2.
By the end of the year, the group indicates that 21% of its stores remained closed in November, with the consequent impact on sales, although the autumn and winter collections “have been very well received” by customers.
Currently 8% of the stores are still closed, of the eight brands of the company (Zara, Zara Home, Oysho, Bershka …).
Inditex, which has been making progress in digital transformation for some years, saw its internet sales increase 75% during the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period of the previous year.
emi / du / d