Inditex’s net sales climb 7.5% to €19.8 billion

  • Especially remarkable is the positive increase in the gross margin to 58.2% of sales, and the strong net cash position, up +17% to reach €7.7 billion, underpinned by strong operating performance.
  • Net profit increased by 12% to €2.72 billion.
  • The executive chairman, Pablo Isla, highlighted that the quarterly figures confirm the Company’s strategy and once again demonstrate the “solid growth being delivered by our integrated stores and online model, thanks to our focus on the highest -quality locations, store environments, products and customer experience both in stores and online. Crucially, this is coupled with strategic investments in technology and sustainability”.
  • The reach of the integrated platform of stores and online continued to expand. Zara launched online in South Africa, Ukraine, Philippines and Colombia; Massimo Dutti’s and Zara Home’s online platform went live in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Morocco; and Stradivarius, Oysho and Uterqüe launched their online platforms in the United States. In addition, all of the Group’s brands are now operating worldwide online stores, which reach more than 200 markets across the globe.
  • In October, the company marked the X Anniversary of the Framework Agreement between Inditex and UNI Global, a union federation for retail and distribution that represents more than 20 million workers. November saw the creation of the Global Union Committee between Inditex and IndustriALL, which represents more than 50 million global garment industry workers, building on the longstanding partnership between the two organisations.
  • The Group opened its first for&from store outside Spain, in Como (Italy).
  • Management estimates like-for-like sales growth of 4% - 6% in 2019.

Inditex Group’s net sales increased by 7.5% in the first nine months of 2019 –from 1 February to 31 October– to €19.82 billion, underpinned by growth across all brands and regions. Gross profit grew by 8%, reflecting a gross margin of 58.2% (+21bp).

The Group’s solid business performance had a direct effect on the bottom line —net profit increased by 12% year-on-year to €2.72 billion— and on strong cash flow generation; net cash marked a record high of €7.7 billion (up 17% year-on-year). The net profit figure includes the impact of the new lease accounting standard, IFRS 16, without which growth would have been 9%. Similarly, EBITDA, which registered reported growth of 45%, would have increased by 10%.

Inditex’s Executive Chairman, Pablo Isla, underlined that these figures confirm the strategy of the Company and highlighted “the excellent performance of the entire Inditex team, whose commitment is enabling the delivery of continued sustained growth in our integrated stores and online model”.

Pablo Isla also noted that the pace of growth is being maintained year after year “thanks to selected locations, store environments, products and customer experience of the highest quality, underpinned by a significant investment in technology and focus on leading and embracing the best sustainability practices”.

Management estimates like-for-like sales growth of 4%-6% in fiscal year 2019.

Lastly, the Board of Directors has agreed to appoint Anne Lange, as a Director. This appointement will be presented to the AGM for its ratification. Lange, a French citizen, is an entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in technology innovation.

Key figures (first nine months)

  9M 2019 9M 2018 YoY chg.
Net sales 19,820 18,437 7.5%
Gross profit
Gross margin

11,538
58.2%

 

10,695
58%
 
8%
EBITDA 5,702 3,932 45%
EBIT 3,548 3,070 16%
Net profit 2,720 2,438 12%

 

1. 9M19 highlights

Sales growth is being driven by both strong reception for the Group’s collections and organic growth in the integrated stores and online platform, as a result of the addition of premium locations, alongside the development of online sales initiatives. Inditex continues to enrich its customers’ unique experience with technological tools that enable seamless commercial integration and optimal inventory management, framed by the tight coordination of every step in the value chain: design, production, logistics and distribution.

Those same capabilities are having a direct impact on the progress being made by the company on its sustainability commitments, from control over the eco-efficiency of the stores equipped with those systems (which will reach 100% by 2020) to the reduction of packaging, reuse of boxes, hangers and security tags, sustained improvement in energy consumption and the growing use of more sustainably-produced fabrics, highlighted by the Join Life label in all of the Group’s brands.

All of the Group’s brands continued to open, expand or refurbish their store platform, framed by the policy of focusing on larger and more integrated stores in top locations on the main shopping streets of key cities in 96 markets, with the online platform also live in 66 of those markets.

During 3Q19, Zara launched its online platform in South Africa, Ukraine, Philippines and Colombia; Massimo Dutti’s and Zara Home went live online in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Morocco; and Stradivarius, Oysho and Uterqüe inaugurated their online platforms in the United States. In addition, following the launch of Bershka.com/ww, all of the Group’s brands are now operating online worldwide, so that their collections currently reach more than 200 markets.

Also during the quarter, investment activity continued at the new building that will be used by zara.com, a 63,000m2 space within the Arteixo headquarters (La Coruña, Spain) which will house the infrastructure needed for the online platform’s photography and video productions. The new building is being equipped with the latest eco-efficiency developments in terms of both the building methods being applied and subsequent waste and energy management.

In parallel, work continues at the logistics connection hub in Lelystad (Netherlands) which is due to be in operation in 2020 and is already supporting the distribution of new arrivals towards the end of the autumn-winter season and the upcoming spring-summer 2020 collections.

2. Brand activity

Expansion of the brands’ online footprint took place in parallel with the opening and relaunch of flagship stores in some 41 markets. Inditex ended the third quarter with 66 more stores than in July, shaped by the usual concentration of openings and refurbishments in the second half of the year. The Group ended October with 7,486 stores, with growth in its floor space in line with expectations.

The third quarter was marked by some high-profile reopenings, such as the Zara Preciados in Madrid (Spain) and Zara Dubai Mall (Dubai), the largest single-storey store in the world, with a floor space of over 5,000m2. The new store showcases the latest Zara Man image, characterised by elegant and restrained lines and wide diaphanous spaces that give off more light and facilitate greater customer interaction with the collections.

The new Zara Man image is similarly on display in the extended and relocated Zara store in the Cevahir mall, one of the most important shopping hubs in Istanbul (Turkey); the store in Rijeka (Croatia); and the new Zara store in Pamplona (Spain). On 21 November, Zara reopened its doors on Passeig de Gràcia (Barcelona, Spain), highlighting its position as one of Zara’s most emblematic stores anywhere in the world, thanks to its fine architectural features and a floor space stretching over 4,000m2.

All brands (Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterque) opened or re-opened stores in premium locations during the quarter. In China, Zara re-opened its expanded store in the IFC Mall in Hong Kong SAR and multiple brands opened new spaces on Jinan Mix City in Jinan. The brands also entered into shopping malls such as Salaris, in Moscow, (Russia); and City Centre Almaza, in Cairo (Egypt).

Other noteworthy new openings include the Bershka store on Rue Neuve in Brussels (Belgium), the Massimo Dutti in Mall of Emirates (Dubai) and the Stradivarius on Rua Santa Catarina in Porto (Portugal). Oysho reopened its doors in the Marineda shopping centre in La Coruña (Spain), adding the new Oysho Sport section, while Zara Home also reopened stores in the iconic Leblon district in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and in Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, as well as opening its first store in Latvia. Uterqüe, meanwhile, opened flagship stores in Kuwait and Mexico.

The store opening and refurbishment effort was complemented by continuation of a range of commercial initiatives, including the third edition of the ZARA SRPLS collection for women, men and, for the first time, kids. Zara also launched its first Jewellery Limited Edition collection with pieces made in sterling silver coated in 24-carat gold.

In November, Zara gave its cosmetics line a fresh boost when it announced a global creative collaboration with the prestigious fragrance creator Jo Malone CBE, the founder of Jo Loves.

The latest edition of VIEW.S, the collaboration between Zara and the world’s leading art and design schools, was launched on 2 September. For this year’s edition, Zara Woman collaborated with Milan’s Istituto Marangoni (Italy) on the development of a quintessentially Italian capsule collection designed with urban and bohemian women in mind.

Importantly, Zara also lent its support to the sixteenth edition of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Design Challenge awards organised by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the US edition of Vogue magazine. Zara sponsored the event and provided the raw materials needed for the 10 finalists’ creations, which had to be totally sustainable.

Bershka, meanwhile, took its followers by surprise with an Halloween theme for its Instagram feed, embarked on a collaboration with singer Billie Eilish and organised two On Stage events in Italy and France, accompanied by musicians Rkomi and Aly Bass.

Massimo Dutti launched its new capsule Limited Edition Après Ski Collection, reinterpreting iconic garments and playing with the most emblematic details, framed by austere lines and simple designs. Also, the brand hired model Edita Vilkeviciute and photographer Chris Colls to present its Evening 2019 collection (in November) a tribute to the celebrations typical of the end of the year.

Pull&Bear presented two new differentiated concepts for young girls - Teen and Pull Girl - and boys - Originals and Urban These launched in parallel its new collection developed in collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) which went on sale online and in a pop-up store set up in the university campus, with which it shares the values of youth, diversity and engagement.

Stradivarius headed to Iceland for a new STR Trip, escorting 10 international influencers who then shared their experience with the country’s beauty and nature on social media. Also, the chain launched its autumn collection under the Two Cool slogan, in allusion to two styles of women, during the quarter.

Oysho remained particularly active, organising Oysho Yoga activities in Shanghai (China) and Barcelona (Spain) and unveiling its new Running collection, with athletics champions Anna Bongiorni, Nadja Käther, Laura García and Desirée Vila as its ambassadors. Oysho also launched a new Homewear collection made up of fine knits made from recycled polyester and featuring the Join Life label.

The new Zara Home cooking collection was one of the brand’s highlights this season; to promote the autumn line, the chain sought to tap into the warm feeling associated with the simple things in life, framed by the slogan ‘less is more’, and give a breath of minimalist elegance that permeates any room decorated with carefully selected items. The collection was presented in a series of photos and videos shot by the firm Fabien Baron, which chose to focus on the craftsmanship in the the finer details for this project.

London was home in October to one of the most important initiatives launched by Uterqüe last quarter: a pop-up store in Seven Dials (Covent Garden) in which shoppers were able to use QR codes to shop the chain’s fashions and accessories, while enjoying music played by a Spanish DJ Marco Llorente. Freedom, differences and fun are the three cornerstones articulating Uterqüe’s latest autumn-winter collection, replete with fashion, accessories and scenery which fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.

3. Sustainability and diversity

nditex’s various brands continued to broaden the collections made under the Join Life label, which flags best practices in the choice of raw materials and production processes, fuelled by the Group’s ambitious targets for the coming years. Having ended the first half with as many Join Life items on sale as in all of 2018, the Company expects to deliver its targets for Join Life at Zara in 2019 (20% of all items put on sale), and putting it on course to have 25% of all of the items put on sale by the Group in 2020 under this label.

On the energy sustainability front, the Group also continued to make progress on its commitment to increasing its use of renewable energy sources, which are targeted to account for 80% of total energy consumed by 2025, boosted by the imminent installation of photovoltaic solar panels at its head offices in Arteixo.

Inditex’s executive chairman, Pablo Isla, sought to highlight the various initiatives set in motion by the company around the world “with the aim of helping make the world more sustainable by using resources more efficiently all along our value chain, with a focus on raw material and energy consumption” at a meeting of the New Economy Forum organised by Bloomberg in Beijing (China), where he presented alongside China’s Special Minister for Climate Change, Xie Zhenhua, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Carlos Brito and the founder and CEO of Gro-Intelligence, Sara Menker.

During the quarter, Inditex and UNI Global Union, a federation of 20 million service workers including retail worker, from more than 150 countries, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Global Framework Union entered into by the two entities in 2009. During an event that took place at the Madrid head offices of the Economic and Social Council, Pablo Isla and the general secretary of UNI Global Union, Christy Hoffman, reviewed the key milestones and achievements of the collaboration between the Group and the union federation.

On the industrial relations front, the Global Agreement binding global union IndustriALL and Inditex since 2007 was further reinforced with the creation of a Global Union Committee for Inditex’s textile production chain. The committee’s constitution was celebrated at an event held in Geneva at the International Labour Organisation’s head offices, which was coordinated by the ILO’s Deputy Director-General for Field Operations & Partnerships, Moussa Oumarou.

Lastly, in October Inditex opened its first for&from store outside of Spain, located in Como, Italy. For&from is the Group’s initiative for the integration of persons with disabilities into the workplace. The new store is the programme’s fifteenth. It is located in one of the best shopping areas in Como, just a few metres away from the Duomo, and is managed by the non-profit organisation, Cometa. The store offers a curated selection of footwear and accessories. Its staff of 12 means that the programme has now reached 209 jobs overall.