Asos reports fast international growth

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Asos today continued its trend of fast international growth, something that is likely to stand it in good stead in coming months as the effects of the Brexit vote begin to be felt.

The fast fashion retailer today turned in a 30% rise in retail sales, with international sales up by 25% in the latest four months of its financial year.

Retail sales reached £500.5m in the four months to June 30, 30% up on the same time last year – or 26% in constant currency. In the UK sales of £203.1m were 28% up on the same time last year, and international sales were 31% up at £297.4m, or 25% when currency fluctuations are discounted. They were particularly strong in the US with sales of £68.3m that were 45% up on last time.

The figures cover just the first week after the European Union referendum result, in which the UK voted to leave the union, but already, say analysts, the effects of the slump in sterling are benefitting the business.

“We are also starting to see the first impacts of a weaker pound, with ASOS benefitting from international non GBP sales which are now being reported higher when converted back into pound terms,” Joshua Raymond of XTB.com. “Given the poor prospects of the pound this year, we could expect international sales to continue to receive a boost from the weaker pound on a comparative basis.”

Asos has built its business on international export, with 59% of sales now taking place overseas. However, some destinations have proved too much of a leap: its Chinese website asos.cn stopped trading in May.

Chief executive Nick Beighton said today that sales growth to date had been underpinned by investment in both price and proposition.

“We now anticipate full year sales growth at the upper end of the 20 to 25% range,” he said, as he said the company was confident of delivering pre-tax profits in line with market expectations.

“Given the increased momentum within the business combined with our strong financial position, we will maintain our successful programme of reinvestment to take advantage of the opportunities currently available to us.”

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