ASOS plc released the trading statement for the two months and six months ended 28 February 2014.
Two months to 28 February 2014 highlights
• Retail sales +26% year on year (UK +21%, International +29%)
• International retail sales 65% of total (63% last year)
• Retail gross margin down c.30bps on prior year
Six months to 28 February 2014 highlights
• Retail sales +34% year on year (UK +32%, International +35%)
• International retail sales 61% of total (61% last year)
• Retail gross margin up c.60bps on prior year
• 8.2 million active customers at 28 February 2014 (+36% year on year)
• Strong balance sheet and cash position
Nick Robertson, CEO, commented, “The Group delivered strong sales and margin growth over the first six months of the year (+34% and +60bps respectively) and we are now confident of achieving £1bn of sales in FY 2013/14. We ended the period with 8.2 million active customers, a 36% increase year on year.
“Retail sales for the two months to February were strong in all territories except Rest of World where we experienced adverse currency movements, notably in Australia and Russia.
“We have accelerated our investment in warehousing (both in the UK and Germany) and in IT, so that we will invest at least £68m in capital expenditure in the current year (previous guidance £55m.) This investment will increase our sales capacity to c£2.5bn per annum, over £1bn higher than previous guidance. Our investment in warehousing necessitated levels of dual running costs over the period which will ease from H2 2014/15.
“This investment, as well as the investment in our China start-up, will reduce our EBIT margin for the current financial year to 31 August 2014 to c.6.5%. This year these costs will be disproportionately borne in H1, resulting in a likely H1/H2 Profit before Tax split of approximately 30%/70%."