Zara owner Inditex reports small rise in profits

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Inditex, the Spanish fashion giant behind Zara, has reported a small increase in profits for 2013.

The world's largest clothing retailer said net income for the 12 months to the end of January rose by just 1% to 2.4bn euros ($3.3bn; £2bn).

The firm was hit by refurbishing costs and by weakening currencies in many of its non-euro markets.

However, Inditex said its sales in the six weeks to 15 March 2014 had increased by 12%.

Inditex owns eight High Street chains, including Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull and Bear.

Sales across all its stores increased by 5%, but sales growth in Europe, excluding Spain, was just 0.5%.

Homeware and interiors brand Zara Home saw the sharpest rise in sales, up by 29%.

Expansion plans

Inditex opened 331 new stores in 2013, and now operates 6,340 stores in 87 countries.

It announced plans to open between 450 and 500 additional stores in the coming year.

The company has also been expanding its online operations, adding web stores in Canada and Russia last year.

The Spanish firm will launch online Zara stores in South Korea and Mexico this year.

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