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Slowed international growth hits Asos profits as CFO promoted

Annual pre-tax profits dropped by 14% to £46.9m at Asos as the strength of the sterling pound hit international sales growth.

Following three profit warnings this year, the figure, down from £54.7m in 2013, was just above analysts’ expectations.

Asos described the year to August 31 as “challenging” due to a difficult international trading environment and a fire at its main UK warehouse in Barnsley in June.

Asos has received £11.5m in insurance compensation so far with further business interruption reimbursements expected.

A 19 year old man was arrested on suspicion of arson last week over the fire at the Asos warehouse. The teenager from Barnsley has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Total sales, as reported last month, increased by 27% to £955.3m.

In order to stem the slowed international growth Asos will cut prices across overseas territories, focusing on key markets including Australia and Russia, where prices are up to 30% higher than in the UK.

Originally expected to be implemented this month zonal pricing functionality will go live in a number of key territories before the peak Christmas trading season.

The company has promoted its chief financial officer Nick Beighton, who has worked at the etailer for five years, to the chief operating officer role with immediate effect. Asos is looking for a new chief financial officer.

In August Asos chief information officer Pete Marsden left the etailer after almost two years with the company.

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