Big profit rise for fashion chain Zara

The world's biggest fashion retailer Inditex, which owns the chain Zara, has reported another record profit.

The success of the company, which invented fast fashion - from the catwalk to the clothesrack in a matter of days - reported a 22% rise in profits of nearly €2.5 billion, or more than $US3 billion, last year.

The result comes as household incomes are being squeezed in Zara's home country Spain and right across Europe.

Zara is set to become even bigger in 2013 as it opens more shops in Russia and China.

Owner Amancio Ortega last week leap-frogged Warren Buffet to become the world's third richest man.

Neev Capital retail analyst Rahul Sharma says the businessman has hit on a winning formula.

He says the business is one of the most responsive, which reduces risk while also providing what shoppers want.

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