Wednesday 13 January 2021 7:34 am

Christmas sales hike drives strong revenue growth at Asos

Sales at fashion retailer Asos surged in the four months ending in December as the online shopping boom continued amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm said that the hike in sales had led to a better-than-expected growth in revenue over the period leading up to Christmas.

As a result of the strong start to the firm’s financial year, it said that yearly profit would be at the top end of current expectations.

Group sales rose to £1.3bn over the four months, up 23 per cent from the £1.07bn booked last year.

The jump was driven by an especially strong performance in the UK, where sales rose 36 per cent to £554.1m.

In the EU and US, Asos recorded an increase of 18 and 17 per cent respectively.

In total, revenue for the period came in at £1.36bn, the retailer said.

Chief executive Nick Beighton said: “Looking forward, given the uncertainty associated with the virus and the impact on customers’ lives, our cautious outlook for the second half of the year remains unchanged.

Before the Open: Get the jump on the markets with our early morning newsletter

“However, the strength of our performance gives us confidence in our continued progress towards capturing the global opportunity ahead.”

It also noted that it would post a net benefit of £40m from the coronavirus crisis, with any financial impact from disruption offset by a far lower rate of returned items.

Asos also flagged that Brexit would cost it around £15m this year in rules-of-origin tariffs.

Commenting on the trading update, Richard Lim, chief exec of Retail Economics, said: “These are mightily impressive results in an extremely difficult part of the market. 

“The huge shift online this Christmas pushed the retail sector to its limits, from the pressure on website infrastructure to constraints across delivery networks.

“Asos has benefited from the vast investment made on its online operations and they are much better positioned to cope with peak demand than the competition.”