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Asos powers ahead with double digit sales gains, outlook strong

The power of the electronic, especially in fashion retail, glows brightly. The latest Asos trading update covering the four months to end-June showed that one of the pioneers in the e-sector is still ticking all the double-digit sales boxes.

Asos also said it expects current financial year sales ranging 30-35% range with pre-tax profits “in line with market consensus”. Despite all the positives, its shares were down 2.4% in early Thursday trade.

So how did the latest four-month period figures scan? Total retail sales jumped 32% to £660m, boosted by the weak pound, but still climbed 26% currency neutral.

UK retail sales rose 16% to £234.6m, despite those widely-reported data showing consumer caution and the move to discretionary spending. International sales, meanwhile, soared 44% in the period.

That meant individual overseas markets all did very well.

The EU, its second-largest market, saw sales rise 41% to £196.6m, or up 30% currency-neutral. US sales jumped 38% to £94.4m, or up 26% currency-neutral, defying what is, for many, a still difficult market. That left the Rest of the World to bring in the best performance, leaping 54% to £134.5m, or up 41% currency-neutral.

The company said it enjoyed continued strong customer engagement with active customers up 25%, the average basket value up 3%, average order frequency up 6%, and conversion up 10bps. The total number of orders shipped rose 28% to almost 17m.

Last month alone, its websites recorded 146m visits and claimed 15m active customers (5.2m in the UK and 9.8m globally).

CEO Nick Beighton said: “Strong H1 sales momentum has continued through the third period supported by our ongoing investment in our customer proposition and in price.

“This good performance has been underpinned by advances across all areas of our business including retail, technology, warehousing, delivery solutions and customer care. We have made a smooth transition to our new Eurohub 2 facility in Germany and anticipate confirming a new US logistics hub soon.”

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