Online cheer as ASOS doubles profits

The appetite for online shopping showed little sign of wavering today as internet fashion retailer ASOS doubled profits and posted healthy sales.

ASOS, which stands for As Seen On Screen, beat City forecasts with pre-tax profits of £7.3 million in the year to March 31 - more than double the previous year's £3.4 million.

The company also defied the slowdown felt elsewhere on the high street with a 95 per cent increase in sales in the 13 weeks to June 27. This compares with 85 per cent growth last year.

ASOS targets 16 to 34-year olds with clothing and accessories based on those worn by celebrities, such as TV presenter Alexa Chung and model Agyness Deyn.

The group said it had 3.4 million visitors to its website in May, a 60 per cent increase on the previous year.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said he had seen "no noticeable slowdown" in business.

He added: "Whilst the macroeconomic conditions appear to be deteriorating, I believe we have, and will continue to benefit from the significant migration to online shopping, especially amongst our core customer base."

Overall sales during the year were £81 million, 90 per cent ahead of the previous year.

The company, which sells more than 10,900 fashion items, now has around 1.65 million registered users.

ASOS is increasing its number of own-label products to around 5,000, with around 600 brands set to be on sale on the website by the autumn.

Initiatives to further boost the Hemel Hempstead-based business later this year include the launch of a new site, ASOS Red, which will be used to clear end of season stock.

Its new warehouse will also help the business grow by supporting sales of up to £350 million.

Mr Robertson said: "With three quarters of the year to go, including Christmas, it is too early to assess whether this performance will continue for the full year.

"That said, I believe ASOS can look forward to another year of strong progress and business development."

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