FILE PHOTO: A staff wearing protective mask waits for customers at the entrance of a Zara store, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) – Fashion retailer Inditex ITX.MC, owner of Zara, returned to quarterly profit in the three months from May to July but reported sales down 31% on the year-ago period as virus-wary consumers stayed away from city centre shopping districts.

The owner of Massimo Dutti and Bershka said 98% of its stores were open again. Looking to the new financial period, it said sales in store and online were 11% lower at constant exchange rates from Aug. 1 to Sept. 6 from the year-ago period.

Shares closed 5% higher on Tuesday after Swedish rival H&M HMb.ST beat quarterly profit forecasts as it bounced back faster than expected from the pandemic-induced slump. Inditex’s stock has fallen 24% in the year so far.

Reporting By Sonya Dowsett, Editing by Inti Landauro



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