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'Strong growth’ at Asos

Sales and profits at Asos grew in the first half of its financial year, as the etailer made “substantial investments” in a bid to become a £4bn business.

Retail sales were up 27% in the six months to 28 February year on year, with group revenues for the period hitting £1.2bn. In the UK sales rose 22%, while international sales grew 31% compared to the same period last year.

Profit before tax was up 10% to £29.9m in line with guidance, while retail gross margin was up 100 basis points.

The business said it had strong customer engagement during the half, with active customers up 17%, average order value up 2%, and order frequency up 8%.

The number of total orders placed rose 28% year on year to 29.9 million, and site visits hit the 1 billion mark for the first time in a six month period.

Asos said the second phase of its Euro hub DC is “progressing well” and its US hub is due to open by the end of the year, ahead of schedule.

There is no change in the company’s full-year sales or profit guidance, with sales expected to increase between 25% and 30% on 2017, while EBIT margin is predicted to improve by 4%.

Nick Beighton, CEO, said: “These results show strong trading at the same time as we are making substantial investment in our future. Our customer engagement is going from strength to strength and we’ve achieved more than a billion site visits for the first time. Alongside our investment in our people and our technology, we are accelerating investment in our distribution and logistics, laying the foundation for £4bn of net sales, a further step in building Asos into the world’s number one destination for fashion loving 20-somethings.”

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