May 18, 2009
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Inditex slips on market concerns over profits

May 18, 2009

LONDON/MADRID, May 18 (Reuters) - Shares in Europe's No.1 fashion retailer Inditex (ITX.MC) fell 3 percent on Monday 18 May on market concerns about the company's first quarter profits.

H&M, one of Inditex's brands, Spring-Summer 2009

One analyst said the stock was probably being hit by the first brokerage forecasts being issued ahead of first quarter results due out on June 10.

"We will see growth figures clearly below 7-8 percent due to the crisis and the slowdown in the opening of new stores," Fortis analyst Francisco Ruiz said.

A spokesman for Inditex declined to comment on speculation by traders that the company was to issue a profit warning.

The Spanish retailer has not given profit targets in the past.

Retailers in Spain suffered falls of between 20-30 percent in sales in March and April, trade association Fedecom, which represents companies including Inditex and Mango, said in a report, cited in daily newspaper El Pais on Monday 18 May.

Inditex, which runs fast-fashion label Zara and a string of other brands, has held up better than many Spanish peers largely due to its focus on replicating catwalk trends at affordable prices.

At 1101 GMT, Inditex shares had slightly recovered an earlier 3 percent fall and were down 2.42 percent to 31.85 euros, underperforming both the IBEX 35 .IBEX index of Spanish bluechips, which was up 0.4 percent, and the DJ STOXX European retail index .SXRP, which gained 1.2 percent.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash and Sitaraman Shankar in London, Blaise Robinson in Paris and Sarah Morris in Madrid; editing by John Stonestreet)

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