Shares in ASOS (GM:ASOMF) edged up 1.3% to 1277p this morning on news that the online fashion retailer had seen retail sales increase by 50% to £131.4m in the first six months of the year. Overall revenues including sales, postage and packaging income and third party revenues, grew by 45% to £139.6m, driving up pre-tax profits by 59% to £7.0m.
Among the highlights of today’s figures, which cover the period to September 30, ASOS said that domestic sales had grown by 26% to £82.4m while international revenues jumped by 120% to £48.9m. Retail gross margins were ahead of the prior year at 47.4% vs 44.6%. A US version of the ASOS website was launched in September and initial trends are understood to be in line with expectations. The company added that it expected its full year results to also be in line with expectations.
Since the half year mark, ASOS has invested in stock levels to support continued strong growth. A mobile version of its service was launched in October, as were French and German language websites. ASOS Marketplace and ASOS Fashion Finder are due to be launched imminently and a new warehouse in Barnsley is on track for commissioning in Spring 2011.
Nick Robertson, the chief executive of ASOS, said:
I am pleased to report a strong set of results for the first half with both our UK and International businesses performing well. Since the period end we have launched our French and German websites which, coupled with our US site launch in September, are all key milestones in our International expansion programme.
In anticipation of continued strong growth, we have maintained our programme of investment, specifically around resource, logistics and our technical capabilities. As we head into the important Q3 trading period, we remain positive about the outlook for the second half and expect our full year results to be in line with market expectations.