Fashion etailer Asos pushed ahead with overseas expansion and improved delivery options to help deliver strong first-half sales growth.

Sales rocketed 47% in the six months to September 30 and it added 56 countries to its international shipping list. Overseas sales soared 110% and accounted for 25% of the total.

Asos said that its outlook for the full year was positive and it expects first-half performance to be marginally ahead of the previous year.
Over the period Asos extended delivery options and introduced free returns in the UK. Singer Capital analyst Matthew McEachran said this could lead to a high single digit or possible double-digit sales uplift.

Following the free returns introduction, and with a lower returns rate from its overseas business, McEachran estimates returns, which are a big cost for etailers, could come down to 3% to 4%.

“These initiatives, coupled with an improving margin trend, give us confidence in our second-half and future growth assumptions,” he said.

Over the period Asos began selling Gap and Mango, which have yet to launch their own UK etail offers, and added menswear to its outlet site.