Shares of Industria de Diseño Textil SA or Inditex were gaining around 4 percent in the morning trading in Spain after the fashion retailer reported Wednesday higher profit and sales in the nine-month period. Regarding the fourth-quarter 2017 trading, the company noted that online and offline store sales increased 13 percent in local currency terms between November 1 and December 11.

For the nine months, net profit of 2.34 billion euros increased 6 percent from last year's 2.20 billion euros. Earnings before interest and tax or EBIT was 2.99 billion euros, up 6 percent, and EBITDA, a key earnings metric, also grew 6 percent to 3.82 billion euros. Gross profit grew 9 percent year-over-year to 10.32 billion euros, while gross margin fell to 57.4 percent from 57.9 percent a year ago. From February 1 to October 31, net sales rose 10 percent to 17.96 billion euros from 16.40 billion euros last year. The company said it achieved a strong operating performance in the period, and made further progress on the global roll-out of its fully integrated store and online model.

Chairman and CEO Pablo Isla said the company continues to develop its integrated offline-online platform, rolling out same-day delivery in six cities and next-day delivery in six markets, including Spain, France, the UK and China. Inditex reported that its store count reached 7,504 with a footprint in 94 markets, having opened its first stores in Belarus in the third quarter. The retail brands opened new stores in 52 different markets during the reporting period, including in the US, Vietnam, China and Turkey. The firm's online presence reached 45 markets, following the launch of www.zara. com in India. Bershka's online platform also went live in the US. In Spain, Inditex shares were trading at 31.94 euros, up 3.84 percent. (dpa)