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Asos profits defy consumer slowdown

Asos saw pre-tax profit rocket 68% to £4.1 million for the six months to September 30, suggesting that internet sales remain resilient to the downturn in consumer spending.

Asos said that sales for the six months were up 107% to £65.7m. Sales have continued to be strong since the period ended, and were up 104% for the seven weeks to November 16.

However Asos stressed that it faced tougher second half comparables and that it still needed to trade through the important Christmas period. It said its outlook for the next few months was one of “cautious optimism”.

International sales were up 252% to £11.4m over the six months period. Asos chief executive Nick Robertson said that international expansion provided a “huge growth opportunity” for the business. As a result, Asos finance director Jon Kamaluddin has been appointed to the newly created role of international director. Kamaluddin will continue in his existing finance director role until a replacement is found.

Separately Asos said that gross margin had improved 80 basis points to 46% for the six months to September 30. Its number of customers also rose by 95% to 947,000 by October 31.

Asos has also expanded its product ranges. The number of brands it stocks rose 135% against last year to 700. The total number of product lines it carries was up 238% to 19,400.

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