Spain's Zara owner says investing weighs on profit

MADRID (AP) — Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, which owns Zara stores, says its profits barely grew in the year to end-January as it continued to invest heavily in new stores globally.

The company said Wednesday net profit during the period was up 1 percent at 2.38 billion euros ($3.31 billion) as sales rose 5 percent to 16.7 billion euros. The company said it invested €1.2 billion euros refurbishing and expanding its stores, offices and logistics platforms. Store numbers increased by 331 to total 6,340, while 8,000 jobs were added, taking the total workforce to 128,313.

Founded in 1975 by Amancio Ortega, Inditex operates eight brands including Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull & Bear and Oysho. The company's share price was up 3.7 percent at 106.90 euros in early Madrid trading.

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