Thanks primarily to Zara, Spanish company Inditex is on track to have a very, very profitable year. In 2015 alone, Inditex owner Amancio Ortega became the world's second-richest man; the company reached a $100 billion valuation, and later surpassed $1 billion in profits for the first half of the year. Now, it's come very close to that in just the three months ended Oct. 31. Employees better be getting some substantial bonuses this Christmas.
From February through October, profits rose 20 percent over the same period last year to €2.02 billion ($2.21 billion) at a margin of 58.8 percent. Based on that, profits for the third quarter alone were about €854 million ($956 million). Net sales rose 15 percent to €5.32 billion ($5.96 billion).
For comparison, H&M posted profits of about $817 million, and sales of $5.6 billion, for its third quarter.
During those nine months, Inditex opened 230 new stores (not all Zara), which doesn't quite match the pace of competitor H&M, who planned to open more than that this fall alone. Zara also expanded its e-commerce footprint to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. It will release full-year results next March.