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ASOS sales rise by 69%

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Online fashion retailer ASOS has this week unveiled 69% growth in sales, thanks to fast growth overseas.

The company said that total sales in the first quarter of its financial year, to June 30, rose to £104.2m, from £61.7m at the same time last year. Its UK sales grew by 15% to £44.6m, but faster growth of 160% came in its international operations which collectively now account for 57% of ASOS’ sales and are worth £59.6m. Within this, US sales rose by 151% to £7.06m, EU sales by 80% to £25.5m, and rest of the world sales by 353% to £27m.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said the company had now completed its move to a single warehouse in Barnsley, “on budget and ahead of schedule.”

Looking ahead, he said: “The new financial year has started well and we remain positive in our outlook for 2012, with progress to date in line with expectations.”

ASOS, aimed at 16-34-year-olds, said it currently had 5.8m registered users and 3.5m active customers from 160 companies.

Retail analyst Tarlok Teji, of Manchester Business School, said ASOS was an example of the “fast beating the slow rather than the traditional ‘large eating the small’” and that its fast fashion niche was particularly well suited to internet retailing. He pointed out that the company’s fastest growth was in emerging economies, rather than the US and Europe which are both suffering in similar ways to the UK one.

But he also said it was important to put the growth figures into perspective as coming from a relatively small base. “The entire sales for the company are equivalent to the annual sales of a couple of Tesco Extra stores. Having said that, ASOS does have a good business model that other retailers could learn from.”

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