FRANKFURT, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Europe's largest online fashion retailer Zalando reported fourth-quarter core profit that jumped about fivefold as it reined in marketing spending and grew sales.
Zalando, which began selling shoes in 2008, now ships 1,500 brands to customers in 15 countries, gaining widespread visibility with its "scream for joy" slogan and ads showing delighted customers tearing open Zalando packages.
Adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 66 million euros in the three months through December, from 13 million a year earlier, while sales grew 21 percent to 666 million, Zalando said on Thursday as it published key quarterly results ahead of schedule.
The group, in which Sweden's Kinnevik is the biggest investor, is due to report full quarterly financial results on March 5.
Zalando affirmed a target for 2015 sales to increase by 20 to 25 percent but said its margins would not grow as it invests in expanding its business. In the fourth quarter, its margin on adjusted EBIT widened to 9.9 percent from 2.4 percent. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)