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Asos drives global sales with further overseas site launches

Asos will launch its next tranche of international websites in September as it seeks to further drive overseas sales.

The fashion etailer is to launch sites in Italy, Spain and Australia to complement its sites in the US, France and Germany which debuted last year. Asos will also update on its strategy to launch in China in September.

Asos chief executive Nick Robertson said: “We’re growing a global business. We’re looking at the size of the prize and the UK is tiny in the scheme of things. It’s 3% of the [global retail] market.”

Asos’ international sales account for 57% of its total sales. In its first quarter to June 30, international sales were up 160% to £59.6m. Sales from the rest of the world, which excludes US and European sales, soared by 353% to £27m. Robertson said the bulk of these sales came from Australia.

UK sales rose 15% to £44.6m, which slowed from the final quarter of its 2011 financial year, when it was up 24%.

Robertson said the slowdown came partly as Asos did no marketing to push its delivery options in the quarter as it was opening a new £40m distribution centre in Barnsley and did not want to put undue pressure on it.

Since the year end, Asos has launched a next-day delivery option where shoppers can order up to midnight the day before. Robertson said the free worldwide delivery offer, which launched in February this year, is a permanent option.

Robertson said the Barnsley Warehouse would offer efficiencies which would cancel out any margin loss from its free delivery offer.

Overall sales grew 69% as retail sales topped £104m over the period. Robertson said this level of growth was sustainable. Asos is set to launch an iPad app in August.

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