Overseas sales made up almost more than 60% of Asos’ turnover by the end of its latest financial year. The fashion retailer today said overseas sales had doubled in a year that saw it launch three new international websites. International sales grew to 62% of total sales in the fourth quarter of its year, from 51% at the same time last year, the company said in a fourth-quarter trading update.
During the year to March 31, Asos opened new sites in Italy, Spain and Australia, boosting an online footprint that already covered the UK, Germany, France and the US.
Asos reported a 103% rise in international sales to £283.7m in the year to March 31. UK sales rose by a more modest 7% to £197.8m. Total group retail sales rose by 49% to £481.6m.
In the fourth quarter of the year, total retail sales were up by 34% at £124.2m, with UK sales up by 4%, at £47.1m, and international sales up by 63% at £77.0m.
Chief executive Nick Robertson said: “I am pleased to report a strong fourth quarter performance for both our UK and international businesses, particularly as we annualised against the introduction of global free shipping last year.
“We ended the quarter with international sales representing 62% of the total, up from 51% last year.”
By the end of the year, Asos had 8m registered users, and 4.4m active customers from 160 countries. Some 17.5m people visit the site each month. As well as its international sites, Asos also has a mobile-optimised site, and runs a marketplace site as well as trend-focused site fashionfinder.asos.com
Asos said pre-tax profits and exceptional items for the year to March 31 would be in line with expectations.
“We remain committed to our global expansion plans and approach the new financial year with confidence,” said Robertson.
Our view: Following figures yesterday that show the UK is back in recession, Asos will think its decision to move beyond these shores has paid off. The company is now well on track to making two-thirds of its sales overseas. No doubt other UK retailers will be watching its performance with a mind to emulate its success – many will be thinking that now is a good time to do just that.