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Inditex stitches up huge earnings win

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Inditex stitches up huge earnings win
A model wearing a dress by Spanish designer Francis Montesinos at the Inditex-sponsored 2012 Madrid Fashion Week. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP
11:55 CET+01:00
Spain's Inditex fashion group have announced its net earnings were up a 22 percent in the 12 months to the end of January but the stockmarket was not impressed with shares in the textile behemoth falling 4 percent.

The clothing giant headed up by Amancio Ortega, Spain's richest man, chalked up the result in the middle of a crisis that has left Spain with an unemployment level of 26 percent.

Net income for the firm which owns the high street retail chains Zara, Massimo Dutti and Bershka among others was €2.3 billion, said Inditex in a press release.

The stock market responded negatively to the story, with Inditex shares falling 4 percent, El Mundo reported on Wednesday morning.

Markets had been hoping for earnings increases of 30 percent, the paper said.

Spain accounted for 21 percent of its sales, down from 25 percent in the previous 12-month period.

The company also stated it had created 10,802 jobs in the last 12 months so that its workforce totalled 120,314 employees.

The country-by-country breakdown of new jobs created will be available in July, an Inditex press officer told The Local.  

Inditex can now boast of 6,009 stores with shops opening in 64 countries last year.

Zara also launched its online store in China in 2012.

The board of directors at Index plans to divvy up the year's spoils to the tune of €2.20 a year.

Forbes magazine recently reported Inditex chief Amancio Ortega was the third richest man in the world.

Ortega, a railwayman's son from Galicia, has wealth now estimated at  €44 billion ($57 billion). This has rocketed from €28.7 billion a year ago, according to Forbes.

Only the Mexican magnate Carlos Slim and US tech titan Bill Gates rank above him on the magazine's list.

Ortega left school at 13 to work as a salesman in a shirt store in the city of La Coruña. Four years later, he set up his own business, initially handling wholesale transactions.

He opened his first Zara boutique in 1975, in La Coruña. More branches followed, and he expanded into Portugal in 1988, the United States in 1989 and France in 1990. 

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