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Asos outlines global ambitions as profits leap

Fashion etailer Asos has reported a surge in first-half profits and plans a range of initiatives to ensure continued growth.

The etailer grew pre-tax profits by 59% to £7m in the six months to September 30. Asos, launched dedicated international websites in the US, France and Germany during the period, and will soon introduce its Marketplace and Fashion Finder initiatives.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said: “Asos is also embarking on a new journey, from online store (albeit a big one) to a global fashion destination. The purpose is to drive incremental traffic and therefore extra sales.”

He said that Marketplace, which will enable boutiques and designers to showcase and sell their products, and Fashion Finder, which will showcase “great fashion from brands which we might not necessarily sell,” would both be key.

“Both of these will give customers even more reason to visit Asos and to allow us to monetise areas of the fashion internet not previously available to us,” he said.

Asos’s sales climbed 50% in the first half to £131.4m when UK sales rose 26% and international sales rocketed 120%. Robertson said the UK accounts for only 3% of internet traffic so it makes sense increasingly to focus on international opportunities.

He said he was “positive” about the outlook for the second half and that full-year results would meet expectations.

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