ASOS sees profits fall as poor trade in run up to Christmas hits online fashion retailer

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Online fashion retailer ASOS took a 87 per cent hit on its pre-tax profit in the first-half with the firm hurt by poor trade in the crucial run-up to Christmas and logistical hiccups as it entered the US market.

Pre-tax profit for the six months to end-February came in at £4m on sales up 14 per cent to £1.31bn.

Nick Beighton, CEO of ASOS, said: “We grew sales by 14 per cent despite a more competitive market. ASOS is capable of a lot more.

“We have identified a number of things we can do better and are taking action accordingly.

“We are confident of an improved performance in the second half and are not changing our guidance for the year.”

Total sales grew 14 per cent while UK sales rose by 16 per cent and international sales by 12 per cent.

Mr Beighton added: “We are nearing the end of a major capex programme. Whilst this has inevitably involved significant disruption and transition costs, the global capability it now provides us gives us increased confidence in our ability to continue to capture market share whilst restoring profitability and accelerating free cash flow generation.

“Global online fashion is a growing, £220bn+ market. We now have the tech platform, the infrastructure, a constant conversation with our growing customer base who love our own great product and the constantly evolving edit of brands we present to them.

“We believe that ultimately there will only be a handful of companies with truly global scale in this market. We are determined that ASOS will be one of them”