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Asos reports sales rise of 25% but warns on profits

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Asos today reported retail sales up by a quarter, driven by a 43% leap in UK sales. But it warned that profits would not be as high as previously expected as it invests for growth.

In the three months to May 31, overall sales grew by 25% to £242.9m. UK sales hit to £91.8m, up by 43% from £64.3m at the same time last year, the company said in a trading statement. International sales, which now account for 62% of revenues, showed more restrained growth at 17%, to £151.1m as sterling strengthened.

But Asos reduced its profit forecast for the year, saying it expected earnings to grow at 4.5%, less than the previously forecast 6.5%. Chief executive Nick Robertson (pictured) put this down to investment in technology and infrastructure as the company looks to hit a £2.5bn sales target.

“Whilst our profit performance for this financial year is not what we had hoped for due to an unusual combination of factors, our accelerated investment in technology and infrastructure to support our £2.5bn sales ambition is progressing and capex remains within guided levels,” said Robertson.

“All customer metrics – active cutstomers, new customers, order frequency and units per basket – are positive and we are totally focused on rolling out the Asos business model globally as the world’s leading online fashion destination for 20-somethings.”

As of May 31, the company had 8.6m active customers, 32% higher than the previous year.

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