Zara's Sales Only Grew 2% Last Year

But there's hope: Sales are up 12 percent since February.
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Eliza Brooke
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But there's hope: Sales are up 12 percent since February.
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

Last year was a slow one for Inditex, the parent company of Zara, with net income coming in at €2.4 billion, just 1 percent higher than it was in 2012. Zara, the company's biggest property by far, only saw a two percent increase over the course of the year. (Compare that to H&M, which saw double-digit sales increases throughout 2013 and into this year.) But there's good news, according to the Inditex's annual report released Wednesday: Since February, store sales have seen a 12 percent bump.

As Reuters notes, Inditex shares rose as much as 4.3 percent on Wednesday following the announcement.

Over the course of 2013, Inditex made a push to open more stores and to improve the quality of those already open. The company opened 331 stores in 61 markets over the course of the year, putting its total number of stores at 6,340 in 87 markets. Of those new storefronts, many were larger than usual, Inditex notes, and it revamped 100 of the company's global flagships this year.

The geographic distribution of Inditex's sales, however, haven't moved much from last year. Europe excluding Spain pulls in the most sales for Inditex at 45.9 percent, a tick up from last year, while Spain accounted for 19.7 percent of sales, down one percentage point from the year prior. Asia, meanwhile, rose to 20.4 percent from 19.7 percent and the Americas sat at 14 percent.

Inditex does appear to be moving its e-commerce offering along. Sales will launch in Greece, South Korea, Romania and Mexico over the course of 2014, bringing its reach to 27 markets -- well ahead of H&M's comparatively slow move online.