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Zara owner Inditex reports slowing quarterly sales growth

Zara owner Inditex grew its sales by 7% in the first quarter of its fiscal year, it said on Wednesday, in line with analysts' expectations.

The performance represented a slowdown from a year ago when it benefited from a post-pandemic shopping spree.

Inditex, which also owns Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti and other brands, is attempting to fend off intense competition from rivals such as H&M by chasing and delivering fashion trends faster.

The company has outperformed competitors in recent quarters benefiting from investments in new in-store and online experiences

It is also facing stiff competition from rapidly growing Chinese-owned online retailers Shein and Temu.

The world's largest listed fashion retailer reported 8.15 billion euros ($8.87 billion) in sales during the three months to April. That compared to an average analyst forecast of 8.1 billion euros, according to an LSEG poll.

Net profit rose 11% to 1.29 billion euros ($1.40 billion) in the three months to April, in line with the 1.3 billion euro average forecast by analysts, according to the LSEG poll. In the first quarter of last year, the company reported a 54% rise in profits.

Sales at constant currencies rose 12% from May 1 to June 3, Inditex said.