Asos reports strong sales at home and abroad

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Asos today said investment in keeping prices down as sterling strengthened in some of its export markets meant shoppers spent more with it.

The fast fashion pureplay, a Model retailer in the IRUK 500, reported retail sales worth £386.0m in the four months to June 30, 20% up compared to the same time last year. UK sales rose by 27% to £158.4m, while international sales were 16% up at £227.6m.

Total retail sales in the 10 months to the same date came in at £922.5m, 16% up on last year. UK sales of £389.7m were 27% ahead and international sales of £532.7m were 9% ahead.

Chief executive Nick Robertson (pictured) said overseas sales had been driven by continued investment in keeping international prices low even as a number of currencies weakened against sterling. This is made possible by Asos’ recent introduction of zonal pricing to its website.

The retailer is now set to experiment to see how changes such as offering free returns affect sales, and Robertson promised an update on these trials in full-year results.

“After accounting for our price investments during the period, the full year gross margin is nonetheless expected to remain in line with last year, assisted by tighter inventory control and strong full price sales,” he said. “We anticipate that sales for the full year will be at the higher end of our guided 15% to 20% growth range.”

He said the company had also invested in people and customer service and would expect profits margins to remain at about 4%.

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