A SPANISH fashion tycoon has defied the recession with record breaking annual profits for 2012.
Amancio Ortega, owner of retail giant Inditex, has been named the third richest man in the world after expanding globally despite the current crisis.
A 22% boost in profits is largely down to the opening of 482 new stores -120 of which were Zara outlets – in countries outside of its usual market.
The huge expansion included 121 new stores in China and the opening of its first outlets in Armenia, Bosnia, Ecuador, Georgia and Macedonia.
The group now have more than 6,000 stores across 86 countries, with plans to open a further 440 by the end of this year.
Ortega, who formed the company 40 years ago in the town of Arteixo, is now estimated to be worth a staggering €44 billion.