Asos looks overseas as UK sales growth grinds to a halt

The slowdown in Britain's consumer spending hit sales at the online fashion retailer Asos in the three months to the end of September.

Revenues in its home market rose just 1 per cent to £44m in the group's second financial quarter. This compared with a 53 per cent jump in total sales to £106.5m as foreign customers flocked to its sites. The overseas growth gave management confidence that Asos would meet forecasts for the year.

Nick Robertson, the CEO, said he was taken by surprise by the impact of the deteriorating market conditions in the UK but added that the overseas business had "more than compensated by the economic challenges facing our UK customer base". John Stevenson, an analyst with Peel Hunt, said July had been especially tough for the company and added that the recent warm weather would also have had an impact on sales. He hailed the strong growth overseas, particularly in Australia and the US.