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U.S. Sales Boost Asos Growth in Q2

The U.S. was its fastest-growing market in the period, with retail sales advancing 50.1 percent.

Asos.com

LONDON — Sales in the U.S. helped boost second-quarter revenues at Asos by 36.7 percent to 190.3 million pounds, or $302.6 million.

The London-based global e-tailer of fashion and beauty said in a trading update Wednesday that in the three months to Feb. 28, the U.S. was its fastest-growing market, with retail sales there advancing 50.1 percent to 16.5 million pounds, or $26.2 million.

All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the three-month period.

In the first half, total group revenues rose 33.2 percent to 359.7 million pounds, or $575.5 million. The U.S. was also the fastest growing business in the first half, climbing 53.7 percent to 35.6 million pounds, or $57 million.

Asos, which targets the stylish twentysomething customer, has just begun to make a push in the U.S. It doesn’t advertise there — or in any market — although it does have a monthly print magazine and last year launched Fashion Up, a weekly fashion magazine distributed via a free app for the iPhone.

 

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Late last year, Asos opened its first U.S. office and showroom, a 3,325-square-foot space on Greene Street in New York. It operates stand-alone Web sites in countries including the U.S., France, Germany, Australia, Spain and Italy and ships to more than 160 countries from its central distribution center in the U.K.

Nick Robertson, the company’s chief executive officer, told WWD that the U.S. customers are favoring Asos own-brand product over the designer  brands.

“There are a couple of reasons for that. We’re not yet geared up to sell all of our brands in the U.S., and I think that our U.S. customers hear about Asos, they land on the site, and they literally just go ahead and buy the Asos-branded product,” he said.

He added that Asos is also tweaking its product offer for the U.S. market. “In European terms, we’re viewed as very fashionable, so I think we might need to edit the range slightly for the U.S. market.”

Robertson added that the French and German businesses were also “on fire,” and that stand-alone Web site launches were planned for China and Russia in October.

He said the company, which is quoted on the London Stock Exchange, was on track to achieve sales of 750 million pounds, or $1.13 billion at current exchange, and profits of 51 million pounds, or $77 million, in the 12-month period.

In a statement earlier in the day, Robertson said Asos’ U.K. performance remained ahead of expectations, with particularly strong trading during the peak December period. “Our international business grew by 45 percent and now accounts for 59 percent of our total retail sales,” he said.