Letter from the Chairman

Dear friends,

Inditex’s 2015 results demonstrate the strength of our business model which focuses on offering products that our customers want. Our sales and net profit increased by 15%, with growth across all geographic regions. Comparable store sales – stores opened for more than two years – rose by 8.5%, and we created 15,800 new jobs. In light of these numbers, I commend the efforts of every individual at Inditex, as well as the Group’s continued innovation and commitment to ensuring that we create social value alongside economic growth.

Inditex’s sustained growth is driven by a team of over 150,000 people worldwide who are committed to the principle that all our activities at the Group, be it teamwork, innovation or management, are conducted hand-in-hand with social progress and environmental sustainability. This principle stems from the firm conviction that people, and respect for their dignity and integrity, should be our top priority.

This conviction is behind our company’s commitment to create stable and quality jobs. The Group’s global growth led to the creation of 15,800 new jobs in 2015, 4,120 of which were in Spain, where the company’s headquarters, logistics facilities and design centres have become a hub of world-class creative, business and industrial talent. These operational centres, combined with our global footprint, encapsulate the Group’s diversity, with a corporate culture that is synonymous with a high level of self-discipline, teamwork, an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to do business responsibly.

“Inditex’s sustained growth is driven by a team of over 150,000 people worldwide who know that the Group’s progress has to go hand in hand with social progress and environmental sustainability”

This commitment to social progress and the endeavour for environmental sustainability forms the ethical principles held by all of us at Inditex. Based on these principles, we have championed and shared pioneering sustainable practices throughout our business operations, as well as with our partners and suppliers. More specifically, this year Inditex joined the effort to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations in 2015 to combat climate change, poverty and inequality with concrete goals for 2030. We discuss our efforts to reach the goals and aspirations of this initiative in each chapter of our 2015 Annual Report.

Our commitment to the SDGs builds on our longstanding adherence to the United Nations Global Compact and its principles. It also compliments our collaboration efforts with the International Labour Organization, as well as our active participation in organizations such as the Ethical Trading Initiative and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and agreements with international union organizations such as Uni Global and IndustriALL.

Our collaboration since 2007 with the IndustriALL Global Union, which represents more than 50 million workers worldwide, is especially noteworthy. Recently, we significantly enhanced this collaboration through an agreement to establish union representatives in each of the 11 production areas or clusters Inditex uses to organize the sustainability of its production chain. The results of all of these initiatives underscore our belief that progress is best achieved by working together with expert institutions and organizations.

This year also saw the conclusion of our 2011-2015 environmental strategy. Notable milestones included the application of advanced environmental sustainability procedures for wet processes, an active recycling policy in our business operations, increased sourcing of sustainable raw materials, and the implementation of eco-efficient stores, offices and logistics centres.

Building on these achievements, this year we launched our 2016-2020 environmental strategy, which incorporates new actions in our endeavour to close the loop at all stages of production – from the analysis and selection of raw materials to end-of-life recycling. A key project in this regard is further collaboration with social enterprises globally to support the reuse or recycling of our customers’ unwanted clothes at the same time as adding social value.

We remain committed to a high-quality supply chain made possible by our ethical principles as well as our investment in quality processes to ensure painstaking attention to every garment. Twenty eight laboratories worldwide ensure that the health and safety of our products measure up to the highest standards to deliver the quality fashion desired by our customers in the 88 markets in which we operate.

In 2015, Inditex invested €1.5bn in its operations which helped to support its world-class logistics and export activities. The Group now has its logistics platforms all equipped with cutting-edge technology. The knock-on effect of this investment has generated business throughout our supply chain. In Spain alone, we now work with 7,500 suppliers in all industries, generating approximately €4.5bn in revenues and indirectly supporting more than 50,000 jobs.

The Group’s business, which fully integrates online and store operations, has also expanded as a result of this ongoing investment. During the course of 2015, Inditex opened a net 330 new stores in 56 markets, all of which meet our eco-efficiency standards. We also remodelled various existing facilities to bring them up to the most demanding efficiency standards. As a result, 54% of our stores are now eco-efficient, and we have publicly set the goal of bringing all of them up to those standards by 2020.

I invite you to learn more about all of these topics in the pages that follow, which are a testament to the dedication and effort of the 150,000 strong team which forms Inditex. They are all proof of the company’s enormous potential for growth and social progress. I would like to express my deep gratitude to these professionals for their hard work, and to our customers and shareholders, for continuing to place their trust in us.

Pablo Isla