Fashion e-tailer Asos has seen total retail sales soar 37 per cent in its second quarter, driven by a strong performance in the UK, according to figures released today.
In the three months to February 28th 2013, total retail sales reached £186 million, resulting in first half retail sales growth of 34 per cent to £352 million.
UK retail sales jumped 28 per cent year-on-year to £75.5 million, a 26 per cent rise over the half while international sales climbed to £111 million, up 45 per cent on a year earlier.
Nick Robertson, CEO of Asos, applauded the solid results, commenting: “I am delighted with our robust first half performance and pleased to report strong trading for the three months to 28 February 2013 with total retail sales of £186 million, up 37 per cent, resulting in first half retail sales growth of +34 per cent to £352 million.
“Our UK performance remained ahead of expectations at +28 per cent, with particularly strong trading during the peak December period.
“Our International business grew by +45 per cent and now accounts for 59 per cent of our total retail sales.”
Asos outperformed analysts expectations of a 25 per cent rise in UK sales thanks to its stellar performance over the festive season which saw UK sales jump 34 per cent, and Dan Coen, Director at advisory and restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, said competitors can learn from Asos‘ strategy.
“ASOS is fast becoming a beacon for British e-commerce,” Coen said.
“The fashion website has gone from strength to strength as it continues to provide users with innovative and convenient ways to shop while driving fashion trends.
“The company continues to choose the channels that are most relevant to its young target market, use innovative technologies to its benefit, and act quickly on key trends to build customer loyalty, boost sales and increase profits.”
Despite a significant reduction in gross margin over the period, down 50 basis points on the previous year, the online retailer remains positive about its broad appeal as sales in the EU and rest of the world rocketed.
EU retail sales increased 58 per cent over the quarter to £44.1 million while rest of the world sales grew 33 per cent to £50.3 million and Robertson explained the rise.
“Our EU growth continues to be driven by strong performance in those countries where we have dedicated websites and particularly by our new in-country teams in France and Germany.
“The strength of our UK performance continues to put pressure on our achieved retail gross margin.
“We expect this to improve during the remainder of the financial year as we annualise last year‘s price investments and achieve planned sourcing gains.
“We remain positive in our outlook for the year to 31 August 2013 and continue to trade in line with expectations.”