Sales in young fashion etailer ASOS were up 24% at £2.41bn in the year to 31 August 2018 and CEO Nick Beighton says the business is “moving fast and is as differentiated as ever”.
He added that the potential of the etailer remained “huge” as retail sales hit £2.36bn with the UK up 23% and international up 27%. Profit before tax was up 28% at £102m.
“This has been another year of substantial progress for ASOS. We delivered 26% sales growth and 28% profit growth whilst investing heavily in the long term potential of the business. Our reported profit increase was achieved despite bearing material transition costs due to our investment programme. All our financial and customer key metrics have shown positive growth,” Beighton said.
“This has been another year of substantial progress for ASOS.”
CEO Nick Beighton
Active customers were up 19%, average basket value was up 1% and order frequency was up 7%. Total orders placed hit 63.2m, which was up 27% year on year.
The 12-month period had been a record one for investment at the London-based business, chiefly around warehousing and technology, with and it is the third consecutive year in which it has posted sales growth comfortably in excess of 20%.
Beighton said the performance of the UK was particularly pleasing given the tough trading backdrop. UK active customers grew by 15% accompanied by an impressive 10% increase in average purchase frequency.
Towards the end of the period the company decided to close its A List loyalty programme for UK customers and instead focus on a more global loyalty offering via its Premier Delivery option. EU retail sales were up 28% while the US was up 25%, along with a 19% increase in active customers.
The business, which focuses on the fashion-conscious 20-something market, recently extended its recent into the Gen-Z teen market with new brand Collusion, which it said had met with a “very encouraging” response. In addition to the Collusion launch, during the period it also moved into activewear with ASOS 4505 and relaunched its Face + Body offer, which included strategic partnerships with Estee Lauder and L’Oreal.
To demonstrate the speed at which the business is moving, ASOS said it had carried out 2,900 tech releases during the year, compared to 1,300 in the prior year. Improvements made across tech included new sites, new languages, improved recommendations algorithms and its first meaningful move into AI-driven conversational interfaces.