Asos Sales Boost

Asos Spring 2013 Campaign | Source: ASOS

LONDON, United Kingdom — Asos Plc, the U.K.’s largest online-only fashion retailer, said second-quarter sales growth accelerated as young U.K. shoppers sought out its budget-price fashions.

Total retail sales rose 37 percent to 186.5 million pounds ($282 million) in the three months ended Feb. 28, the London-based retailer said in a statement today. That was more than the median estimate of a 35 percent increase from five analysts compiled by Bloomberg, and compares to the first-quarter’s 30 percent growth. The retail gross margin fell 0.5 percentage point as it sold more clothes in the U.K. at a discount.

Asos revenue has been buoyed by free worldwide delivery, in-country management teams in France, Germany and a focus on adding fashion content such as style blogs and fashion advice to its website to attract and retain viewers. The retailer said it expects the retail gross margin, a measure of profitability, will improve during the year as last year’s price investments aren’t repeated and it improves sourcing.

“Our U.K. performance remained ahead of expectations” at 28 percent sales growth, “with particularly strong trading during the peak December period,” Chief Executive Officer Nick Robertson said in the statement. “We remain positive in our outlook for the year to 31 August 2013 and continue to trade in line with expectations.”

Asos shares fell 1 percent to 3,111 pence in London trading yesterday, paring this year’s gain to 16 percent.

By: Sarah Shannon; Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Celeste Perri