The owner of fashion retailer Zara, Inditex, returned to quarterly profit in the three months from May to July despite a 31% fall in sales as the coronavirus crisis kept consumers away from city centre shopping districts. 

The owner of the Massimo Dutti and Bershka brands said today that 98% of its stores had reopened. 

In the current quarter, sales in store and online from August 1 to September 6 at constant exchange rates were down 11% from a year earlier. 

Inditex reported a second-quarter net profit of €214m, beating the €96m mean forecast from Refinitiv's SmartEstimate model. 

It saw a 74% jump in online sales in the first half, a trend seen at other clothing retailers as well, as shoppers bought from home with many stores closed and movement restrictions in place. 

Inditex shares closed 5% higher yesterdya after Swedish rival H&M beat quarterly profit forecasts. The stock is down 24% this year. 

For the first half, the company reported a net loss of €195m on sales down 37%. 

It said it would have reported a profit had it not booked a €308m charge related to its integration of its store and online platforms.