Inditex’s Sales Decline Slowed Before November Knock

Sales at fashion retailer Inditex fell 14% in the three months from August to October, recovering from a drop of 31% in the previous quarter, although store-based sales saw a significant impact due to COVID-19 restrictions in November.

The Spanish owner of Bershka and Massimo Dutti said that while 21% of stores were closed in November, most re-opened in the first week of December, with 8% of stores currently closed with an additional 10% at weekends.

However, a signficant proportion of stores are still operating with restrictions, Inditex said.

Sales of apparel in Europe remain 9.5% below pre-crisis levels in October, Eurostat data showed. Inditex and rival H&M reported their first-ever quarterly loss earlier this year as lockdowns shuttered stores and stifled demand for new clothing.

H&M said on Tuesday its net sales fell 10% in local currencies in its fourth quarter, with an accelerating slowdown towards the end of the September-November period.

Inditex said its third-quarter net profit reached 866 million euros, in line with a rebound in profit reported in the second quarter, but still down 26% on the year-ago period.

Total sales reached 6.05 billion euros in the third quarter, with online sales continuing to grow at 76% above last year.

Inditex’s results were in line with analysts’ forecasts of an 11-15% sales drop.

By Victoria Waldersee; editors: Sonya Dowsett and Alexander Smith.

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