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Inditex FY18 Profit Rises, Lifts Dividend; Sees LFL Sales Growth In FY19

Spanish fashion retailer Industria de Diseño Textil SA (IDEXF.PK) or Inditex reported Wednesday that its fiscal 2018 net profit rose 2 percent to 3.44 billion euros from last year's 3.37 billion euros.

EBITDA and EBIT reached all-time highs, supported by strong margins. EBIT went up 1 percent to 4.36 billion euros, and EBITDA grew 3 percent to 5.46 billion euros.

Inditex net sales increased 3 percent to 26.15 billion euros from last year's 25.34 billion euros. Sales grew 7 percent in local currencies, underpinned by growth in all of the Group's geographic regions.

Like-for-like sales growth remains robust, up 4 percent in the year, and positive across all regions and brands, as well as in both the online and store platforms.

Revenue from online sales climbed 27 percent year-on-year to 3.2 billion euros.

Further, the Board of Directors will propose a new dividend policy at the next AGM, to be held in July. The ordinary dividend will increase to represent a payout ratio of 60 percent - up from 50 percent at present - and Inditex will also distribute a bonus dividend totaling 1 euro per share, split across 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The change in policy translates to a 17 percent increase in the dividend for the year to 0.88 euro per share, in which 0.66 euro as an ordinary dividend and 0.22 euro as a bonus dividend.

Regarding the current trading, the company said store sales in local currencies increased by 7 percent from February 1 to March 9.

Management estimates like-for-like sales growth of 4 percent - 6 percent in fiscal 2019.

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