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Asos reports strong sales momentum across holiday season


By Prachi Singh

13 Jan 2021

For the four months to December 31, 2020 Asos Plc said, group sales were up 23 percent to 1,364.1 million pounds, supported by investment into capturing available demand and building customer momentum. Gross margin in the period was negative 90bps reflecting continued ‘lockdown’ category product mix, investment into customer acquisition and increased freight costs due to Covid disruption. With restrictions likely to be in place for the balance of the first half, Asos expects a net Covid PBT benefit of at least 40 million pounds in H1 and FY21 PBT to be at the top end of current market expectations.

Commenting on the trading update, Nick Beighton, Asos CEO, said in a statement: “We are really pleased with the strong performance we have delivered, which is testament to both the strength of our multi-brand model and the hard work of our people. Looking forward, given the uncertainty associated with the virus and the impact on customers’ lives, our cautious outlook for the second half of the year remains unchanged.”

The company saw 36 percent increase in UK retail sales to 554.1 million pounds, which reflected strength of market position as well as restrictions on non-essential retail stores through the peak period. The company reported 18 percent growth in the EU to 390.7 million pounds, despite demand constraints in markets where hospitality closed but stores remained open, while sales in the US rose 13 percent to 156.8 million pounds, supported by continued improvement of product offer. ROW retail sales increased 16 percent to 771.7 million pounds, supported by good growth in Australia and the MENA region.