Asos gets boost from overseas sales

ONLINE fashion retailer Asos saw sales soar in the first quarter, but boss Nick Robertson dismissed speculation that the company was being seriously eyed as a takeover target.

Asos, which targets young trendy customers, said its retail sales increased 69 per cent to £104.2m in the three months to 30 June.

International sales soared 160 per cent to £59.6m, driven by last year’s launch of US, French and German websites, having been up 161 per cent in the fourth quarter. The new markets now make up 57 per cent of the sales mix.

Trading in the UK also proved resilient as sales climbed 15 per cent during the quarter.

ASOS said its retail gross margin was in line with guidance despite the tough retail environment. Robertson said: “The results are strong and we are doing well in the new markets we are going into.”

Asked about whether the company had been approached by serious contenders for a takeover, he said: “No we are in this business for the long haul.”

Speculation has surrounded companies like Tesco and Amazon who could benefit from the company’s web-based business model.

Danish shareholder and supplier Bestseller was also tipped as a possible suitor.

While many UK retailers have struggled against tough macro headwinds, ASOS has prospered, benefiting from a young core customer base and the migration of spending from the high street to the internet.

Investec said in a note: “The ASOS share price seems to be driven by sales momentum, almost irrespective of the valuation metrics.” However, the broker put a sell recommendation on the stock saying that despite the retailer being “a great business with a dynamic and evolving operating model”, the current valuation leaves “no room for even the smallest slip or disappointment”.

Sales increased 69 per cent to
£104.2m in the three months to 30 June.

International sales soared 160 per cent to £59.6m

UK sales climbed 15% during the quarter

ASOS has 13m unique visitors on its websites every month