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Asos profits beat expectations

Asos saw sales rise 104% to £165 million for the year ended March 31. The etailer said that profits would be slightly ahead of market expectations as a result.

Sales since the year end, for the four weeks ended April 24, have continued to be strong, rising 80% on the same period last year.

“Whilst we are being more conservative in our planning for 2009/2010, we believe the outlook is still very positive, and we look forward to another year of strong growth.”

Nick Robertson, chief executive, Asos

Asos chief executive Nick Robertson said: “Current trading remains buoyant…We are not immune to the prevailing economic conditions, however, as widely reported, younger fashion is proving more resilient, internet shopping continues to gain in popularity and our international sales are being bolstered by the weak pound. International sales for the four weeks to April 24 are up 173% year on year.”

Asos said it had signed several new brands including Mango, Hackett, Gant and Mini Boden for summer 09.

It will also launch an own label kidswear range via its Little Asos kidswear business in September.

Robertson added: “We remain committed to becoming the market leader in online fashion in the UK and will continue to invest in the business accordingly. Whilst we are being more conservative in our planning for 2009/2010, we believe the outlook is still very positive, and we look forward to another year of strong growth.”

Analyst Numis raised its pre-tax profit estimate from £18.5m to £19.2m for the year ended March 2010 on the back of Asos’ pre-close statement. It also raised its 2009 forecast by 5% to £14.2m.

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