Inditex, owner of high street clothing chains Zara, Bershka, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, yesterday announced that first-quarter profits had jumped by a third. The Times

Europe's largest clothing retailer said that its quarterly net income hit €200m (£134m), up from €150m in the same period last year, after an aggressive expansion in its home market of Spain, and in France and China.

It is opening shops at the rate of more than one a day and is expecting to add up to 520 stores this year. It hopes to reach 4,000 outlets by 2009.

Last year the company opened its first stores in mainland China, well ahead of many European rivals, and it now operates more than 3,250 stores in 65 countries.