Fashion retailer Inditex, the Spanish company that owns Zara, has reported 17% increase in its sales to EUR7.24bn for the first half (H1) ended 31 July 2012, compared to EUR6.21bn in the first half of fiscal 2011.

The company’s net profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 also rose 32% % to €944m, compared to €717m in the same quarter last year.

Inditex posted EBITDA of €1,621m in H1 of fiscal 2012, up 29%, compared to €1,261m in the first halfr of previous fiscal.

During the first six months of this financial year (FY), the group opened 166 stores, bringing the total across its 85 markets in the five continents to 5,693 stores.

Additionally, the Group has created 9,267 new more jobs in comparison to the same period from last year, ending 2012 first half with 112,468 employees.

The company’s like-for-like sales have increased by 7% while gross margin on sales totaled €4,313m.

Zara has launched its online sale in China on the 5 September 2013, adding this market to its e-commerce activity, which is carried out in 18 European countries, as well as in Japan and the US

Further, Massimo Dutti and Zara Home will start their online sales in the US in October 2012.

Inditex’s CEO Pablo Isla said the substantial investing effort made in infrastructures in Spain, on which the global expansion for the eight commercial concepts is based.

"This effort maximizes value in terms of human talent and technology, and promotes growth together with more than 5,500 Spanish suppliers", Isla added.