Total sales at Asos grew 47% in the six months to 30 September 2009, the fashion etailer has reported. UK sales increased by 33% and international sales by 112%.
The number of active customers is now up 32% year on year to 1.2 million at the end of October 2009, the company also revealed.
"We posted a strong first half with UK sales up 33% and International sales up 112%," commented Nick Robertson, chief executive of Asos, in the Chief Executive's Review of the retailer's interim results:
This performance was a direct consequence of the investments we made in extending the product range, enhancing the customer experience and expanding our international capabilities. Sales were slightly flattered in the period due to the timing of the Easter sale."
Stock and costs were managed more tightly, ensuring that profit before tax was ahead of the prior year despite the reduction in retail margin over the period. This reduction was the result of the additional sale mentioned above, an increase in the branded mix and the foreign exchange impact on our bought in margin.
Following the introduction of a new warehouse management system in April, we were able to leverage the improved working processes and our scale to greatly enhance our service proposition, specifically around delivery and returns as set out in more detail below.
We added a further 12,700 lines to the site (including a number of new brands), taking the total number of lines to 34,000. This included a men's offer within ASOS Outlet and an own label kid's range called Little ASOS.
A number of new delivery options were introduced during the period, including a same day service within the M25 including Saturday and Sunday, a nominated day service and a super saver six day service. We are also trialling our ASOS Premier service whereby customers receive an unlimited free next day delivery and returns pick-up service for an annual fee. Delivery is now free in the UK for orders over £75 and we have made returns free for all UK customers. The financial impact of free returns is within anticipated levels.
We are planning additional marketing activity over the coming months to further increase brand awareness in the UK.