File: Clothes from Zara, flagship outlet of Spain's Inditex group, stand ready for departure at Inditexs' headquarters. AFP/Miguel Riopa
MADRID - Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, owner of Zara and Massimo Dutti, reported strong first-half profits near pre-pandemic levels as sales rebounded, with customers returning to stores and shopping online.
The retail giant's bottom line had been decimated by lockdown measures at the height of the Covid crisis last year, but the reopening of economies have brought shoppers back to its stores.
"The recovery is accelerating," Inditex chief executive Pablo Isla said in a teleconference, adding that the group's activities had returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The company posted a net profit of almost 1.3 billion euros ($1.5-billion) between February and July.
It followed a loss last year and was just slightly lower than the 1.5 billion euros it recorded over the six-month period in 2019.
Sales reached 11.9 billion euros, up 49 percent from a year ago.
The company said its earnings reached "historic" highs in the second quarter.
Net profit reached 851 million euros over the May-July period, but it was below forecasts of analysts polled by financial information provider Factset.