LONDON, United Kingdom – British online fashion retailer ASOS said on Thursday it was on track to make analysts' forecasts for full year profit, although sales growth for its latest trading period came in short of market expectations.
While ASOS and online peer Boohoo continue to report robust sales growth, Britain's traditional bricks and mortar clothing retailers like Marks & Spencer , Debenhams and House of Fraser are struggling and closing stores.
ASOS, which sells fashion aimed at 20-somethings, said total retail sales rose 22 percent to £802.7 million ($1.06 billion) in the four months to June 30 – below analysts' average forecast for growth of 25.8 percent, and lower than the 27 percent growth it reported in the earlier first half period.
UK sales increased 23 percent and they were up 21 percent in ASOS' overseas markets.
The group maintained its guidance for full year 2017-18 sales growth of 25-30 percent, but said it would likely be towards the lower end.
It said pretax profit was expected to be in line with analysts' average forecast of 101 million pounds, up from 80 million pounds in 2016-17.
"I am pleased with the way the business has traded over the last four months and we are on track with our plans for the year," said chief executive Nick Beighton.
He said trading since June 30 was going well, particularly full price sales.
"We remain confident of delivering another year of strong growth," said the chief executive.
ASOS' shares, up 13 percent over the last year, closed Wednesday at 6,500 pence, valuing the business at 5.47 billion pounds. They listed at 20 pence in 2001.
By James Davey; editor: Sarah Young