The owner of fashion brand Zara has said its latest sales are ahead of pre-pandemic levels after benefiting from a surge in online shopping.

Spanish retail group Inditex, which also owns the Bershka and Pull & Bear brands, said sales between May 1 and June 6 were more than double the same period last year and 5% ahead of the same period in 2019.

Zara owner Inditex said sales have recovered beyond pre-pandemic levels (Yui Mok/PA)

It came as the company said it posted a net profit of 421 million euros (£361.9 million) for the quarter to April, surpassing analyst expectations.

- Advertisement -

However, the profit was still around a third below the levels it saw a year ago.

Meanwhile, revenues for the quarter were 48% higher than the same period in 2020 at 4.9 billion euros (£4.2 billion) but were still significantly below pre-pandemic levels.

Inditex said it was buoyed by a 67% jump in online sales, offsetting the impact of enforced closures, with 24% of its stores shut during the quarter.

The group said it is now operating 98% of its physical stores after widescale easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Pablo Isla, executive chairman of the company, said: “Our differentiation and strategic transformation towards a fully integrated, digital and sustainable model continues to bear results, supported by the commitment displayed by all the people who work at Inditex.”

Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Given nearly a quarter of the group’s trading hours were lost to lockdowns between February and April, Inditex’s results were pretty attractive.

“While the resilience shown by Inditex should be commended, the retailer isn’t out of the woods yet.

“Operating costs rose as stores reopened and the group continued its push online and profits are still less than half of pre-pandemic levels.”