Asos’ full-year pre-tax profits edged up 1% to £47.5m as the etailer invested in customer proposition, warehousing and staff.

  • Asos pre-tax profits increased 1% to £47.5m, retail sales grew 17% to £1.12bn
  • The etailer invested £50m into warehousing and technology during the year
  • Asos will roll out a loyalty scheme in next six months following trial

UK retail sales jumped 27% and international retail sales increased 11% in the year to August 31. Total retail sales grew 17% to £1.12bn during the period.

Asos chief executive Nick Beighton, who took over from founder Nick Robertson after he stepped down in September, said the results “show encouraging progress” and profits are on track with plans.

He added: “We are attracting more customers with a continued expansion of our delivery proposition and mobile offerings. Customer engagement has been exceptionally strong, with increases in average order frequency, basket size and value.”

“Trading year to date has started well and preparations are at an advanced stage for peak season. We currently anticipate sales growth for the new financial year of c.20%. We remain focused on achieving our next staging post of £2.5bn sales.”

During the year Asos invested £50m in its warehousing and technology and expects to invest a further £80m in the current financial year.

The investments have driven down gross profit margins by 10 basis points, although this was offset by a stronger full price sales mix and a reduced reliance on promotional activity.

The fashion etailer reported net insurance proceeds of £6.3m from the fire in its Barnsley warehouse and has reduced the loss in its China operation.

Active customers during its last financial year increased by 13% to 9.9m.

Sales at Asos are being driven by a strong performance in mobile. There have been 5.4 million downloads of its mobile apps in the past 12 months and in August nearly 60% of the retailer’s traffic came from mobile, while 44% of orders were placed on mobile devices.

The retailer has also revealed it will launch its Asos Rewards loyalty scheme during the next six months following a “successful trial”.

The programme allows customers to build up points on purchases, which convert to vouchers.