Asos delivers large rise in global sales after collapse in sterling

Asos has posted a jump in half-year profits, boosted by a significant surge in international sales following the collapse in sterling.

Tuesday, 4th April 2017, 8:46 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:27 pm
File photo of the ASOS distribution centre near Barnsley, South Yorkshire Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The online fashion retailer said pre-tax profits rose 14 per cent to £27.3 million in the six months to February 28, while revenue increased 37 per cent to £911.5 million.

The Brexit-battered pound helped international sales soar 54 per cent to £548.4 million.

The company said: “As a net exporter, sterling weakness has created a foreign exchange tailwind for the business which has enabled investment above previously planned levels into both price and proposition.”

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As a result, Asos has again upgraded its sales guidance for the full year, pencilling in growth in the 30 per cent-35 per cent range, up from 25 per cent -30 per cent.

In the UK, where Asos flagged a “more promotional market”, retail sales rose 18 per cent to £340.8 million.

Chief executive Nick Beighton said: “These are a strong set of results, showing great progress across the business. International growth of 54 per cent has been excellent and with the Rest of the World segment a stand-out performer.

“Given the current momentum we are seeing, Asos is making good progress towards its ultimate goal of becoming the world’s number one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.”

The company’s global business has been riding high - driven largely by the US - and it has reinvested the currency boost from the Brexit-hit pound.

Asos’s buoyant results come while most other British retailers are facing a torrid time.

John Lewis has warned over a “turbulent and challenging” high street amid cost pressures from the pound and a dramatic shift in consumer spending.

Lord Wolfson, the chief executive of Next, has also warned of another tough year ahead as the high street giant grapples with a slowdown in consumer demand.

Asos, meanwhile, announced plans in December to hire another 1,500 people over the next three years to work at its London headquarters.

It said it would take an additional 40,000 square feet to house the extra workers and will spend £40 million on renovating the space in Camden.