Asos has sped ahead of retail stalwart Marks & Spencer in terms of market value, and the etailer now looks set to take on supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.
The 17-year-old etailer reached £5.06bn in market value at closing last night (29 November), exceeding the £4.89bn of M&S, Reuters data calculating the number of shares in issue showed.
The London Stock Exchange estimated Asos’s market cap at £5.048bn, while M&S stood at £4.89bn. Both Asos and M&S declined to comment.
Asos also looks poised to topple Sainsbury’s in terms of market value. The latter stood at £5.3bn, according to Reuters, while the London Stock Exchange placed it at £5.023bn.
Both Asos and M&S were neck-and-neck last weekend, when Reuters data showed Asos posting £4.891bn in market value, hot on the heels of M&S’s £4.896bn valuation.
Retail analyst Richard Hyman observed: “The market will ebb and flow for the next few months – it’s a moveable feast – but going into next year it’s very likely Asos will move further ahead of M&S, and the gap between the two will widen.
“It’s less about the absolute moment one overtakes the other, and more about the symbolism of a comparatively tiny company placing alongside, and ahead, of [a retailer such as] M&S. It’s a reflection of how times are changing, and how fast they’re changing.”
A company’s stock market value reflects its expected future earnings. In terms of scale in sales and profits, Asos remains behind M&S.
Asos posted sales of £1.9bn in the year to 31 August, compared with £10.6bn in the 52 weeks to 1 April at M&S. Profits respectively stood at £80m and £176.4m.