// Asos sales up 36% to £554.1m in the 4 months to December 31
// Asos said Covid-19 restrictions should lead to net profit of at least £40m in the first half
// Active customer base increased by 1.1 million to 24.5 million in the period
Asos has said it expects the impact of the pandemic to provide a £40 million profit boost which will help drive it towards the top of its annual targets.
It comes after Asos has reported a surge in sales during a strong Christmas trading period.
Group sales increased by 23 per cent to £1.33 billion in the four months to December 31, when UK retail sales surged 36 per cent to £554.1 million.
The online fashion retailer said it “surpassed expectations” and benefited from investment in product, pricing and marketing, as well as “stronger than anticipated consumer demand for our products”.
Asos said the varying levels of Covid-19 restrictions globally, which are likely to be in place for several more weeks, should result in a net profit of “at least £40 million” in the first half.
However, it also said it expects to be hit with £15 million in Brexit tariff costs due to Country of Origin rules affecting some of its goods.
Active customer base increased by 1.1 million to 24.5 million in the period, when growth in new customers offset the impact of existing customers having fewer reasons to buy occasionwear.
However, Asos warned on the likely economic impact of the pandemic on its core 20-something customer.
It added that, while overall demand in the market is “supressed”, it remains “more resilient than our initial expectations”.
”We are really pleased with the strong performance we have delivered, which is testament to both the strength of our multi-brand model and the hard work of our people,” chief executive Nick Beighton said.
“We have continued to execute well and deliver for our customers, whilst investing in growing our business and driving further efficiency through a strong operational grip.
”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.
“However, the strength of our performance gives us confidence in our continued progress towards capturing the global opportunity ahead.”