Letter from the Chairman

Dear Friends,

Inditex's progress during 2014 has once again provided an excellent example of how the hard work and professionalism of a great team leads to amazing results, as they continue to propose new and ambitious challenges for the future. Reviewing the milestones of the year, the large figures and the mainlines of work to which the team is committed allows us not only to ensure the strength of the Group's business model, but also that it can be combined with demanding economic objectives and innovative and sustainable social and environmental strategies.

The Group's 2014 profile was one of sustained growth, based on strong investment in the business and which has resulted in an important social contribution in the form of new jobs, both direct and indirect, a significant carry-over effect on other market operators and a relevant financial contribution. We have also continued to develop our commitment to our ethical principles, both in what we refer to as our own activity as well as our supply chain. In this section we should mention the advances in social and environmental issues, supported in the first place by the traceability of our products and as a consequence, in our capacity to ensure adequate policies for our suppliers.

Inditex reaffirms its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and its principles, with engagements related to its participation in organisations such as Ethical Trading Initiative or Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and through the agreements signed with the international union federations Uni Global and IndustriALL, the latter renewed in 2014. These commitments form the basis of the Right to Wear guarantee, the concept which encompasses Inditex's social responsibility in relation to each of its stakeholders. Specifically, safe products manufactured in adequate social and environmental conditions, sold to customers by a human team which continues to grow professionally, without forgetting our responsibility to the wider community.

In a brief recap of 2014, I should begin by mentioning the economic indicators of our activity, which continue to show the strength of our business model and its ability to be adapted to very different geographical and economic situations. In particular, the Group's global sales figures grew by 8.3% last year, reaching a total of €18,177 million. This growth reflects the positive evolution of all retail formats in all the Group's geographical areas, both in brick-and-mortar stores and through online sales platforms. This solid growth is clear from the growth data of the comparable surface sales (that is to say, excluding sales derived from new retail space) which was 5% in 2014.

During 2014 Inditex opened new stores in 54 countries, increasing the Group's number of stores globally to 6,683, which is an increase of 343 on the previous year. The total surface sales area increased to 3.8 billion square meters. All the new stores, as well as renovations of existing stores, have been eco-efficient, bringing the total number of eco-stores to more than 51% of the total and nearing the aim of covering the network entirely by 2020. As mentioned earlier, as well as new brick-and-mortar stores, we have continued to develop the online sales platforms in all the Group's formats, which at the end of 2014 stood at 27 markets and will increase during 2015.

Inditex successfully comines the strength of its business model with demanding economic objectives and innovatives estrategies for social and environmental sustainability.

This growth in retail activity has required continuing investment, not only in new retail space, but also in the expansion and modernisation of our management, design and logistical operations centres. In the field of productive investment I would like to highlight two examples which are very relevant to this policy, both closely linked to the use of the most highly advanced technological tools adapted to the need of the business. One example is the implementation of RFID technology in our stores and logistics centres and the second is the opening of the Technological Centre in our Arteixo headquarters (A Coruña).

I have described the use of RFID in our processes as the most important change to the management of our stores in decades, and I stand by that analysis. This technology, which provides numerous advantages in terms of efficient stock management, also provides our store staff with a powerful tool to not only aid and improve their daily work, but also improves the quality of customer service.

As regards the new Technological Centre, it is at once the heart of innovation at Inditex and the main support for the treatment of information in the Group. Unique in the world for its technical characteristics, its scope and the cutting-edge systems its includes, the attention to detail of its design, construction and start up, it has won many awards from environmental certifications to awards for technological reliability. In its role as the main data processing centre, it guarantees the continuity of store operations, offices and logistics centres across the world and ensures ongoing communication in real time between the Group's decision making centres.

In this brief recap of the year I would also like to mention the centralized nature of our management and the sustainability strategy which forms part of our daily work. In the environmental sphere we take the entire life cycle of our products into account, with specific strategies and programmes for each phase, from obtaining raw materials, through to recycling or reuse (for social ends) of garments at the end of its life cycle, including industrial processes associated with manufacture, logistics and sales. One of the most important projects in this area is the implementation of the new environmental sustainability standard for wet processes, a step further in the move towards a first-rate supply chain.

If in this field the key is working together with our suppliers and with the more than 5,000 manufacturing centres that we collaborate with, it is even more so with regards to social-labour issues. In recent years we have developed successful cooperation at the heart of the production clusters which is revealed by our Compliance Programme. Almost 95% of our products are produced by manufacturers obtaining the highest ratings in social audit processes. This is also contributed to by the application of the Framework Agreement with the IndustriALL Global Union, a trade union with a global presence, representing more than 50 million workers, as well as the permanent collaboration in projects promoted by the OIT or the ongoing dialogue with non-governmental bodies. Examples include, to name but a few, the advance in the aims of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety or the 2014 signing of the Enabling Principles.

Social responsibility and sustainability, are also reflected in Inditex's contribution to general welfare. This is produced, not only through investment in social programmes (which in 2014 included donations of over €25 million to projects run by more than 350 organisations, benefiting almost three million people). In our home market alone, Spain, over 7,000 businesses invoiced Inditex a total of €4,000 million in products and services. And to close this chapter, It is worth highlighting the physical contribution of the Group worldwide, which reached €2,066 million in 2014 in direct taxes and €2,298 million in collected taxes.

All of the initiatives I have discussed will continue in 2015 and no doubt will continue in later years. I hope we will keep showing the dynamism that has been to the present date our team’s main feature and above all that we can maintain the innovative and self-critical spirit that is the key to making the most of our strong business model. I am confident that this will be the case, since this endeavour is shared by each and every one of the people who are part of this great team and whom I would like to thank for not only their hard work but also their huge dedication and commitment.

Pablo Isla