UPDATED: Asos plans further investment in Yorkshire

ONLINE fashion retailer Asos is planning further investment at its giant distribution centre in Yorkshire after posting a rise in half year profits.

File photo dated of the ASOS distribution centre near Barnsley, South Yorkshire Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The company’s performance was boosted by a significant surge in international sales following the collapse in sterling. Asos said pre-tax profits rose 14 per cent to £27.3 million in the six months to February 28, while revenue increased 37 per cent to £911.5 million.

The Brexit-battered pound helped international sales soar 54 per cent to £548.4 million.

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The company said: “As a net exporter, sterling weakness has created a foreign exchange tailwind for the business which has enabled investment above previously planned levels into both price and proposition.”

As a result, Asos has again upgraded its sales guidance for the full year, pencilling in growth in the 30 per cent to 35 per cent range, up from 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

In the UK, where Asos flagged a “more promotional market”, retail sales rose 18 per cent to £340.8 million.

Chief executive Nick Beighton said: “These are a strong set of results, showing great progress across the business.”

Mr Beighton said the company’s international growth had been excellent. The company’s global business has been riding high - driven largely by the US - and it has reinvested the currency boost from the Brexit-hit pound.

Asos also plans to invest in its facility in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, which employs around 4,000 people.

Asos said in its trading update: “During the first half of this year, a second despatch sorter was added in Barnsley, and assisted the operation in setting new despatch records during the ‘Black Friday’ promotional event.

“Our investment at Barnsley continues, with a fifth packing module currently being installed, and due to be operational by the end of the financial year in readiness for the peak trading period. This will provide us with additional capacity to support future growth. Work continues on expanding Barnsley in the second half of this year, enhancing the current facilities for the people who work there, as well as providing additional office space.”

A spokesman said that Asos recently dispatched 3.3m parcels in one week from the Barnsley facility “so it’s clearly very important to the business”.