Fast growing ASOS needs to keep churning out sparkling updates to retain its glamour stock status, and the online clothes seller did not disappoint with its performance in the final three months of 2011.
The group said that retail sales over the period - the third quarter of ASOS's fiscal year - rose 46% year-on-year to £146.53m, with sales from the relatively mature UK business up 10% to £62.1m, versus market expectations of 5% growth.
International sales continue to grow like topsy, and rose 93% to £84.5m from £43.7m in the final quarter of 2010. US sales rose 146%, sales in the European Union jumped 33% while the rest of the world chipped in with a 179% year-on-year increase.
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Group revenues overall, which include retail sales, postage and packaging and third party revenues, climbed 45% to £150.6m from £104.1m the year before. This was slightly below the 47.4% growth Panmure Gordon had been forecasting, but in general the market gave the numbers the thumbs-up, with the shares rising 113p to 1,605p in early trading. The stock is still more than 800p off its 52-week high, however.
The warm reception may have been down to ASOS Chief Executive Officer, Nick Robertson, expressing confidence that full year results would be in line with market expectations, but is more likely due to UK growth moving back to double-digits after sliding to 1% in the preceding quarter.
The market will also have been cheered by news that the retail gross margin improved by three percentage points during the period, although this was in line with guidance.
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