Inditex has made use of its figures and its philosophy to set the course that it will follow in the new post-Pablo Isla era, with Marta Ortega at the helm as president and Óscar García Maceiras as CEO, and guarantee that its business model is currently “at full capacity” and has “enormous development potential for the future”, having overcome the pandemic with sales of 27,716 million euros in 2021 and with a historical maximum of 6,742 million in the first quarter of 2022.

In this year of the “recovery” of economic activity, the textile multinational has experienced an “upturn” in traffic and sales in physical stores and a “very important consolidation” of online sales and, with the foundations settled, faces the future without stopping and even daring to mark new paths hitherto unexplored.

In a complex context and a sector undergoing profound transformation that ensures that “we aspire to lead”, the multinational will participate in the capital of an innovative start-up. In his speech as the new CEO, Óscar García Maceiras announced his first entry into the capital of an industrial company in the history of Inditex and that it will be in a “disruptive” firm.

This is CIRC, an innovative start-up that promotes the production of new sustainable fibers for the textile industry that fits into the sustainability strategy promoted by the company in recent years and that, according to its CEO, “makes us unique” .

CIR develops a technology that will allow the recycling of textile products composed of mixtures of different materials and, therefore, guarantees a lower environmental impact. The initiative will allow the rest of the sector to verify its use, solving one of the current challenges in the sector of seeking new sustainable fibres, and fits into Inditex’s objective, which presumes that sustainability “is not something imposed”, but part of its objective since in 2001 it became the first Spanish company to adhere to the United Nations Global Compact.

The announcement has been one of the shock effects of García Maceiras at the company’s first General Shareholders’ Meeting since his appointment. Held in person at the company’s headquarters in Arteixo (A Coruña), it also marked a grand premiere of Marta Ortega as president and her first public speech as head of the company. Both have also been confirmed in office.

Ortega has confirmed great talent for public speaking still unexplored and, without reading a single word, has made it clear that in this new stage of the company they will remain faithful to their DNA and their “unique history” and will support their new challenges in the ” deep respect, admiration and gratitude” towards those who “have made Inditex what it is today”, especially towards his father and founder of the company, Amancio Ortega.

Although Amancio Ortega was the great absentee from the meeting, with the words of his daughter he acquired the leading role corresponding to his condition as the main shareholder of the multinational. As she had already done in the letter that she sent to all the employees on the day of her debut in the position, on April 1, Marta Ortega referred to her father as “Mr. Ortega”, the name by which they know him in the company.

The new president intervened before all the members of the Board of Directors (two of them electronically) and representatives of 85% of the shareholders, the new president recognized that the “feeling of responsibility” that she feels after taking office is ” immense”, but which is more bearable thanks to the “best team” that accompanies her in the task and which she feels “proud” to be able to represent.

That team and, in general, “the people” who make the company possible are, for Marta Ortega, the essence of the company she now leads. “Inditex has always been, before anything else, people”, she has deepened her. She reminded the company’s 165,000 employees in 170 countries, who “work with great dedication to achieve goals” and who “never give up, do not settle and always seek to improve in everything they do”, but also their suppliers and customers.

There was no lack of a veiled reference to the new post-Pablo Isla era in the company, in which he pointed out that, as people, they have “illusions, successes and mistakes”, but that “they never give up and always look forward” and promised that their performance and strength “remains the same”.

For her, who joined the company in 2006 as a clerk in a London Zara store, Inditex is “the place where I have grown, personally and professionally” and also “where I have always wanted to be”, as it is the “source of the values ​​that I share” and also a project to which, once ratified, I will continue “devoting all my effort”. Speaking in a first person plural in which she wanted to include the entire staff, she assured that they will be “prepared to face the challenges that the future brings us”.

These future challenges inevitably stop at the current situation in Russia and Ukraine. In response to the only question posed at the Meeting, García Maceiras pointed out that “the situation has not changed”, in relation to its cessation of activity in both countries, two of its main markets, and in its special support plan in which they remain linked to their 10,000 workers in the area.

After more than four months, the company “continues to monitor the situation” and “explore the different alternatives” and “there are no firm decisions to change its position” on its presence in both markets. In addition, they have promoted the hiring of 500 Ukrainian refugees in 22 countries and continue with support projects through different NGOs.

García Maceiras did not forget the nature of Inditex as a fashion company, which Marta Ortega highlighted as “the continuous desire to bring the emotion and beauty of fashion closer to millions of people around the world”, and recalled that the four Factors that justify its current situation “at full capacity” are that fashion proposal, the excellence in the shopping experience of its customers, the “firm and determined” commitment to sustainability and the dedication of its employees.

These four factors and their “DNA of humility and prudence, but of extraordinary ambition” allow them to achieve current business figures and consolidate their distribution of dividends. The Meeting approved the already announced proposal of the Board of Directors to distribute a total dividend of 0.93 euros per share, of which 0.465 were already distributed in May and the rest will be distributed on November 2.

García Maceiras also announced that the company will pay an extraordinary dividend of 0.40 euros per share in 2023, which will be added to the ordinary dividend for the 2022 financial year once it is closed.

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