Spanish retail giant Inditex, home of the Zara clothing chain, recorded $513 million net profit in the first quarter, but was still a third below pre-pandemic levels for the same period a year ago.
The number has beaten analysts’ expectations, as six analysts polled by Refinitiv had estimated a net profit of $440 million.
Online sales were up by two-thirds from last year as lockdowns kept stores across the world closed or operating under limited capacity for much of the quarter.
Sales between May 1 and June 6 more than doubled compared with the same period last year, and were up 5 percent compared with the same period in 2019, indicating a post-lockdown spike in demand also seen by other retailers including Next and Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
“The results show a progressive rebound even as they have been materially impacted by the pandemic with the temporary closure of stores in key markets like the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Brazil,” the company said.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at $1.5 billion, nearly triple last year’s earnings, but still 27 percent below 2019 levels.