Asos beats forecasts as sales surge 30%

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Asos Christmas

Asos has posted surging sales growth in its latest quarter, beating forecasts and putting it firmly in the retail industry’s winners’ camp for festive trading.

The British online fashion retailer said total retail sales rose to £790.4 million in the four months to December 31, a 30 per cent year-on-year rise compared to compared to analysts’ average forecast of growth of 27.4 per cent.

Asos said its figures were boosted by momentum in the UK, where sales increased 23 per cent year-on-year to £300 million despite a “challenging market” and worries over an economic slowdown that has affected some of its rivals.

Meanwhile in the US, sales increased by 24 per cent to £102.4 million, in Europe it skyrocketed 42 per cent to £235.2 million, and sales across the remainder of its international markets – including Australia and Russia – increased 34 per cent to £151.9 million.

The number of visits to Asos’ website also grew in December to 174 million, up from 139 million a year earlier.

The total number of orders placed in the period jumped 30 per cent year-on-year to 20.2 million, while the average frequency of orders – accounting for the total orders per customer over the past 12 months – was up eight per cent.

Asos added that profit margins were also improving in line with its plans and that there was no change to its financial guidance for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

However, capital expenditure was likely to be at the upper end of previous guidance of around £200 million to £220 million.

Chief executive Nick Beighton said: “I’m pleased to report a strong performance during the period including peak.

“We achieved an exceptional performance in the UK, whilst momentum in international sales continued.

“We acquired 2.6 million active customers year-on-year and saw encouraging movements across all key customer KPIs.”

He added: “Our customer proposition was further enhanced in the UK with the launch of Try Before You Buy and Asos Instant, our same-day delivery proposition.

“Following this strong start to the year, we remain confident in our full-year guidance and delivery of our planned investments in infrastructure to support our global ambitions.”

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