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ASOS shares gain 25% on strong rise in sales

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ASOS’ sales rose by 46% to £146.5m in the last three months of 2011, the fashion etailer said today. Its shares gained a quarter in value during the course of the day following the news, closing at 1869.50p, 377.50p or 25.3% up on their opening price.

In a trading statement for the the third quarter of its financial year ASOS said its UK sales were up by a healthy 10% to £62.05m but the fastest growth was overseas. Total international sales rose by 93% to £84.5m, while US sales were up 146%, EU sales up by 33% and rest of the world sales up by 179%. International sales now account for 58% of Asos’ total sales.

Group revenues, which include income from postage and packaging and third party revenues as well as retail sales, were up by 45% to £150.5m.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said: “I am pleased to report a strong third quarter performance across all territories including the UK. Overall retail sales were 46% up year on year and our retail gross margin was 300bps (basis points) higher over the period, in line with guidance.

“With the business continuing to perform well through these challenging economic times, we remain confident about the outlook and expect our full year results to be in line with market expectations.”

Robertson, who has previously predicted that ASOS would turn over £1bn in sales by 2015, told news agency Reuters that on Christmas Day 2011 some 19% of Asos’ traffic was from a mobile device. He said that eventually as much as 30% of revenue would be likely to come via such devices.

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