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Asos reports H1 loss, names new CFO

By Prachi Singh


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Asos x Nordstrom, New York City Credits: Asos

For the first half period, Asos reported an adjusted pre-tax loss of 120 million pounds, while total sales declined by 18 percent to 1,505.8 million pounds. Adjusted EBITDA loss widened to 16.3 million pounds compared to the 4.6 million pounds in the period last year.

Asos reiterated guidance for FY24 sales decline of 5 to 15 percent, positive adjusted EBITDA and cash generation.

The company also announced three new appointments of Dave Murray as chief financial officer and Christine Cross as an independent non-executive director effective April 16, 2024, who will chair the remuneration committee.

Commenting on the trading results, José Antonio Ramos Calamonte, chief executive officer of Asos said: "At the beginning of this year we explained that FY24 would be a year of continued transformation for Asos as we take the necessary actions to deliver a more profitable and cash generative business. Asos is becoming a faster and more agile business, and we are reiterating our guidance for the full year as we lay the foundations for sustainable profitable growth in FY25 and beyond."

Highlights of Asos results in H1

The company attributed the negative result to sales getting impacted by continued challenges in the market backdrop, including higher cost-of-living pressures and the impact of profit initiatives taken in FY23 under our Driving Change agenda. The company expects EBITDA for FY25 to be significantly higher than FY23 and FY24.

The company’s sales in the UK declined by 16 percent during the period under review. The company added that stronger delivery proposition, supported by increased robustness in delivery networks post-peak and the launch of 'Asos Your Way' supported sales during November and December. However, in the post-Christmas period, intake challenges associated with the disruption to ocean freight through the Red Sea, alongside a more strategic approach to promotions targeting clearance of old stock while excluding strong performers impacted conversion, which was down 30 bps.

In Europe, sales were down 11 percent with weak demand in a number of key markets in the period, while US sales fell by 25 percent, reflecting challenges in visits down 16 percent due to general market weakness, strong competition bolstered by high levels of promotional aggression, and restrained approach to paid media spend with a focus on increasing return on investment. Conversion also declined 30 bps as a result of the wide-ranging actions taken throughout last year to improve the region's profitability.

Rest of World ('RoW') sales fell by 36 percent reflecting the annualisation of the widespread profitability measures outside core geographies which were implemented towards the end of H1 FY23, including price increases and changes to the delivery proposition.

Asos appoints new CFO and independent non-executive director

Asos has appointed Dave Murray as chief financial officer ("CFO") and executive director and Christine Cross as an independent non-executive director of the company.

Murray, the company said, joins with effect from April 29, 2024. Murray has more than two decades' experience across a range of finance roles in the retail and ecommerce industry. He spent a large proportion of his career at Sainsburys and Amazon in the UK, before holding senior finance roles at Farfetch and most recently was CFO of MatchesFashion.

Cross, the company added, will chair the remuneration committee and will also serve as a member of the audit committee. Cross has more than 35 years' experience in global multi-channel retail, initially at Tesco where she spearheaded own-brand development and reinvigorated the clothing brand as trading director. Since pursuing a plural non-executive career, Cross has served on the boards of numerous listed, private and PE-backed businesses including Next plc (UK), Woolworths plc (Australia), Sonae plc (Portugal), Zooplus AG (Germany) and Clipper Logistics plc (UK).

Most recently, she has served on the boards and was remuneration committee chair of Hilton Food Group plc (UK) and Coca Cola Europacific Partners plc as well as acting as board advisor to Unilever and River Island. She is currently a senior advisor at Inverleith LLP, an advisor at Interpath Advisory and is an independent non-executive director at the Pollen Estate Trustee Company Limited.

Commenting on the new appointments, Jørgen Lindemann, Asos chair, said: "I'd like to welcome both Dave and Christine to Asos on behalf of the board. Christine's experience across her career as a retail executive and as a board member and advisor, including as remuneration committee chair for several PLCs, will be invaluable to Asos and we look forward to working with her."

Dave Murray
Executive Management