Online retailer ASOS posted record fourth quarter profits after sales rose by over 70% in the three months to March 31 2011. Booming overseas demand for the latest fashion trends was behind the massive jump in revenue with international business now comprising 52% of total revenue making it the first time overseas sales have outstripped UK demand at the retailer.
Bad weather and perceptions of poor value on the high street have been attributed to the latest strong results for the group which aims to provide customers with the latest celebrity looks and trends at affordable prices.
Aimed at fashion forward 16-34 year olds globally, ASOS attracts over 13 million unique visitors a month and as at 31 March 2011 had 5.3 million registered users and 3.0 million active customers (customers who had shopped with Asos in the last 12 months) from 160 different countries.
Speaking at the announcement Nick Robertson CEO said he was pleased and excited by the company’s international performance especially in the US, Germany and France, where ASOS launched new region-specific sites in the last year.
“With international becoming an increasingly significant part of our future, I was pleased to see our International sales mix exceed that of the UK for the first time.” said Robertson.
“Sales are flying in Australia and international growth is impressive. Online retail is the future there is now doubt about that”.
Robertson also confirmed the company is to enter “three to five” new overseas markets in the coming months which will no doubt sustain the surge in overseas growth.
After the announcement of the results on Wednesday, shares in ASOS rose 9% as investors reacted to the company’s ability to buck the current retail market trend where most high street stores are suffering from reduced footfalls and till receipts.
Full year profits look set to improve as much as 50% on last year with the company expected to post profits of £29m, up from £20.3m the previous year, which, although at the upper end of its forecast, is looking very likely following its positive earnings announcement.
Share values at ASOS almost tripled last year as investors bet that this is one retailer the recession simply can’t touch.