Asos sees overseas growth fuel profit

ONLINE fashion retailer Asos yesterday said its sales were “flying” in overseas markets as the web defies the downturn on the high street.

The firm said retail sales increased 70 per cent to £93.4m in the three months to 31 March, its financial fourth-quarter.

That compares with a rise of 59 per cent in its third-quarter.

UK sales increased 24 per cent to £44.9m, while international sales soared 161 per cent to £48.4m, helped by the introduction of United States, French and German websites in October 2010.

Profits for the year will now come in at the top end of market expectations.

Analysts had pencilled in pre-tax profit of between £24m and £29m.

Total sales across the group rose 63 per cent to £97m in the quarter.

Chief executive Nick Roberston said: “Sales are flying in Australia and international growth is impressive.

“Online retail is the future, there is no doubt about that.”

He said the company would launch operations in three to five new overseas markets in the next year as the company remained on the expansion trail.

Asos is thriving on the US, Germany and France, with the UK proving a more difficult market as consumers rein in their spending.