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ASOS bucks faltering fashion market trend with 37% rise in pre-tax profits


 Asos company logo

Asos company logo

Asos company logo

Online fashion firm ASOS has reported a healthy rise in full year profits, driven by growth across all of its key markets.

The retailer said that pre-tax profits came in at £63.7 million, up 37% compared to last year. Sales grew 26% to £1.4 billion, helped by a 50% rise in US revenue.

In the UK and Europe, sales rose by 27% and 28% respectively.

Chief executive Nick Beighton said: "I'm pleased with progress in the business. The strength of these results reflects our unwavering focus on delivering great customer experience, supported by rigorous execution of our investments.

"We continue to target our growth opportunities, so we're accelerating investment in both logistics and technology.

"The pace at ASOS is continuing in the new financial year, which we are looking forward to with confidence."

The success of ASOS flies in the face of recent data showing a faltering fashion market, with figures from Kantar Worldpanel showing on Monday that the British fashion market has witnessed its steepest decline in sales since 2009.

Tom Gadsby, analyst at Liberum, said: "ASOS has shrugged off the retail fears dogging the rest of the UK high street with an excellent set of full year results.

"We believe the company will reach its medium term target of £2.5 billion of sales by 2019. Investment ahead of growth in infrastructure has been a key driver."

ASOS also used its results to hit back over claims surrounding working conditions at its warehouse in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The company said: "There has been comment recently in the media and elsewhere on working conditions in our warehouse which are inaccurate and misleading.

"Contrary to what has been alleged, we do currently pay above the national living wage for all employees and are committed to migrating towards the living wage foundation level over the next 18 months. We do not use, and have never used, zero-hours contracts."

ASOS also said it is sprucing up the warehouse, pumping £20 million into building a gym, training rooms and a well-being suite in order to "further enhance facilities for our people who work there".