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Business News

Asos revenues surge but Zara and H&M struggle on the high street

The online clothing retailer Asos posted another scorching quarter of revenue growth yesterday but the clothing giants Zara and H&M were hit by a slowdown on the high street.

Asos was also celebrating a Royal endorsement from Kate Middleton, seen wearing one of its own-label maternity dresses, and a "phenomenal" response to its launch of Primark clothing on its site last week.

The retailer grew its UK sales by 39 per cent to £64.4m in the three months to 31 May. This marked its third consecutive quarter of domestic growth ahead of expectations.

Its chief executive Nick Robertson hailed Asos' decision to lower prices on own-label products last year and the growing popularity of retailers' clothing on its site.

He said: "The investment in pricing last year has been a key catalyst, and focusing on that key twentysomething customer. New Look and River Island are doing well on the platform. The product offer is lining up to be exceptional and customers are rewarding us accordingly."

Mr Robertson said that the Primark trial had got off to a strong start but added: "Both parties are excited but both parties don't want to commit until the model is proven." Total retail sales at Asos rose by 45 per cent to £193.6m in the quarter.

But Inditex, the Spanish giant behind the Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear chains, posted quarterly profits up by just 1.2 per cent to £438m – its weakest growth for four years after unfavourable weather.

The Swedish fast-fashion chain H&M said that underlying sales fell 4 per cent in the three months to 31 May.