Inditex sales grow more than 15% to €20.9 billion
Inditex, the world"s largest fashion company, reported sales worth €20.9 billion in 2015, representing a 15.4% rise from the previous year.
The Spanish textile giant, which owns Zara, Massimo Dutti and six other brands, posted a net profit of €2.88 billion, up 15% from 2014.
All eight brands experienced sales growth last year, particularly Zara Home, which saw a sales increase of 21.5% on the back of new store openings. It was followed by the group"s best-known brand, Zara, whose sales grew 17.5% last year.
The results confirm stock market analysts" forecasts that Inditex would break the barrier of €20 billion in sales for the first time.
The Arteixo-based group opened 330 new stores in 56 countries last year, bringing the total to 7,013 outlets in 88 markets. Inditex also hired 15,800 new workers, boosting its total global staff to 152,854.
"Job creation in Spain is worth underscoring, as 4,120 new jobs have been created," said the company.
Sales in Spain, its biggest market in terms of stores, only represent 17% of the total, compared with 19% in 2014.
In the fiscal year ending January 31, the company invested €1.5 billion in stores, technology, logistics plants and other improvements. In a statement, Inditex insisted on the relevance of its contribution to the Spanish economy, where the group has "more than 7,500 suppliers who generate around 50,000 indirect jobs and invoiced Inditex for €4.1 billion in 2015."
Greater dividend payout
Inditex has also released information about executive pay in 2015. Chairman Pablo Isla made €12.17 million, a 53% rise over his 2014 income, thanks to a €5.5 million payout for a variable retribution payable in May.
This makes Isla one of the best-paid Spanish executives in 2015, behind Ángel Cano of BBVA bank and Juan Béjar of construction giant FCC.
Inditex founder Amancio Ortega, Spain"s richest man, will receive €1.1 billion this year in dividend payouts. Ortega still owns 59.29% of the company"s shares.
For the first time, Inditex will pay its employees a new bonus thanks to last year"s strong growth. The incentives plan involves sharing out 10% of the profit growth among the more veteran workers. The company said that next April it will pay out €37.4 million to around 78,000 workers who have been with the company more than two years.
The company also said it will raise its dividend payment by 15.4%, to €0.60 a share.
Expansion is set to continue this year, with plans for 400 to 460 new stores, including in five new markets: Vietnam, New Zealand, Paraguay, Aruba and Nicaragua.
The company added that it hopes to have online stores offering all of its brands across Europe and Turkey by the end of this year.
English version by Susana Urra.