Asos jumps on overseas sales

City A.M. Reporter
ONLINE fashion retailer Asos said it was on track to meet full-year profit forecasts after a 47 per cent jump in second-quarter sales, led by demand from abroad and sales of aviator jackets and capes.

Asos shares, which have more than doubled this year, fell around six percent as analysts worried about a slowdown in British sales growth and expressed disappointment that profit expectations were not raised.

“The shares may have needed an upgrade [to profit expectations],” said Singer analyst Matthew McEachran.

Asos targets internet-savvy 18-34 year-old women looking to emulate the designer looks of celebrities like Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung at a fraction of the price, and enjoyed soaring sales throughout the recent recession.

Retail sales jumped 47 per cent to £69.7m in the three months to 30 September, the company’s second quarter, down from 54 per cent in the first quarter but towards the top end of expectations.

Overseas sales growth accelerated to 128 per cent from 111 per cent, helped by the launch of a US website towards the end of the period. However, British sales growth slowed to 21 per cent from 32 per cent.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said this was more to do with changes in the comparable figures from last year than a sign of a slowdown in spending as Britons brace for higher taxes and public spending cuts to rein in government debt.

He also said the big growth potential for Asos was overseas.
After websites in France and Germany, the group was expected to target a major Asian market, probably China. It scotched rumours of potential bids for the company.