Zara profits in Marta Ortega's first year as boss

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STORY: She’s the daughter of the founder, and has just completed her first year in charge.

So far Marta Ortega may be pretty pleased with how it’s going at Inditex, owner of the Zara fashion chain.

On Wednesday (March 15), the world’s largest clothing retailer said profits soared 27% last year.

Sales jumped to almost $35 billion - well up on even pre-health crisis levels.

The figures were largely in line with expectations.

Analysts say demand for Zara clothes continued even after inflation prompted price rises of 5% or more.

The only negative for investors was a surprise jump in capital spending plans to pay for things including in-store technology.

Even so, the results may lessen doubts about whether Ortega was the right person to take over.

She succeeded industry veteran Pablo Isla as non-executive chair in April.

That was the final step in a generational handover that began a decade ago with the retirement of her father - Amancio Ortega.

Adding to her satisfaction will be signs that Zara is outpacing arch-rival H&M.

On Wednesday it said its sales over the latest quarter rose less than expected.