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Asos profits rocket 253% amid lockdown

The group witnessed a sales growth of 25% across the period, while it welcomed 1.5 million new customers

Asos has announced that its pre-tax profits rocketed 253% to £106.4m in the half-year ended 28 February 2021, as customers continued to turn to online shopping amid the pandemic. 

The group witnessed a sales growth of 25% across the period, reflecting a strong performance underpinned by “excellent” operational delivery, whilst group revenues rose by 25% to £2bn. 

Whilst Asos welcomed an “exceptional” UK performance, with a 39% sales growth in the region, it also reported good growth in the EU (18%), US (16%) and ROW (16%). 

Over the six-month period, its active customer base increased by 1.5 million to 24.9 million. Asos noted this growth in new customers balanced out fewer “event-led reasons” for customers to shop, but looking ahead, the group said it is “well positioned” to capture demand when lifestyles normalise and this returns. 

However, it still remains cautious on its near term consumer outlook, largely driven by “uncertain 20-something economic prospects, timing of global restrictions lifting and possible further Covid-19 peaks”.

Nonetheless, its FY21 expectations have increased in line with this first half performance, and its outlook for the second half remains unchanged.

Its latest results follow the group’s acquisition of Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge after Arcadia collapsed into administration last year. The transaction led to the closure of all Topshop sites, as Arcadia brands were brought in-house with an aim to transform them into “digital first” labels. 

Nick Beighton, CEO, said: “We are delighted with our exceptional first-half performance and proud of the work our teams have put in to achieve this. 

“These record results, which include robust growth in sales, customer numbers and profitability, demonstrate the significant progress we have made against all of our strategic priorities and the strength of our execution capability. The swift integration of the Topshop brands and the impressive early customer engagement is also especially pleasing.”

He added: “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.”

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