Carnival Stock – Asos gains 1.5 million customers in six months
Online fashion group Asos says its sales have grown by 24% in the past six months as it added one and a half million customers.
It now has 24.9 million customers, with more than seven million in the UK, where it makes most of its profits.
Profits for the six months to 28 February were £106.4m, up from £30.1m a year earlier.
It said its integration of Topshop and other Arcadia brands, which Asos bought in February, was “progressing to plan”.
As well as Topshop, Asos also acquired the Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands in a £395m deal, but not their network of about 70 shops.
It said one-off acquisition and integration costs were now expected to be about £10m, instead of the £20m originally envisaged.
The company said its latest “record results” had been driven by “exceptional execution”.
UK sales were particularly strong, up 39%.
As an online-only business, Asos is one of the few retailers that have benefited from lockdown.
“For a long, long time, e-commerce has been growing,” chief executive Nick Beighton told the BBC.
“What we’ve seen over the last 12 months is a step-change in e-commerce as a mix of total sales. So we don’t think this is a high point, e-commerce is here to stay, but it can sit happily alongside stores.”
In the company’s results statement, Mr Beighton said he was “delighted” with the “exceptional first-half performance”.
“Looking ahead, while we are mindful of the short-term uncertainty and potential economic consequences of the continuing pandemic, we are confident in the momentum we have built and excited about delivering on our ambition of being the number one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.”
Asos said it was still cautious about the outlook in the short term, because of uncertain economic prospects for its youthful target group.
Risks included possible further Covid-19 peaks, as well as the timetable for the easing of global pandemic restrictions.
However, it added that it was “well positioned to capture demand for event-led product when lifestyles normalise”.
Arlene Ewing, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said Asos had beaten analysts’ expectations on profits.
“The business is in great shape, with cash on its balance sheet and the acquisition and integration of brands such as Topshop yet to be fully reflected in performance,” she added.
“With greater geographical diversification and investment in customer fulfilment over the last year or so, Asos is in a very strong position – a fact demonstrated by the more than 400% increase to its share price since the start of the pandemic.”