Asos cautious despite growth

Asos said its first-half profits would be only slightly above the same period last year in spite of an impressive rise in sales over the past six months.

The online fashion retailer said the surging sales seen during the recession had begun to slow but that growth remained strong. However, following the introduction of extra costs last year as the company increased substantially the number of lines it offered, it said profits would be only ”marginally ahead of the prior year”.

But shoppers continue to snap up Asos’ bleach denim and statement shoulders as they strive to emulate new style icons such as Florence Welch, of pop group Florence and the Machine, and Jameela Jamil, a Channel 4 presenter.

An extra 310,000 customers were registered on the website compared with last year and the company said current trading was ”in line with expectations”. Asos said it would focus on expanding its overseas businesses, where sales rose 110 per cent in the period. During that time, it has nearly doubled the number of countries to which it sends products from 58 to 114. The next step, analysts suggested, would be to launch country-specific websites in local languages.

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