Pre-tax profits at Asos soared 42% to £13.2m in the five months to August 31. 

The fashion etailer, which has changed its year-end to August 31, said UK sales rose 13% to £81.7m while international sales rocketed 46% to £149.6m on the same period in 2011. Group sales rose 32% to £238m. 

Asos’ active customer base rose 36% year-on-year to five million shoppers, with more users based internationally than in the UK. Asos attracts 18.8 million unique users a month.

However, the etailer said that investment in its price architecture, including a 5% reduction in average selling prices, had dragged the average group basket value down 6% to £59.62. In the UK, the average basket value was down 2% to £62.96. 

The US was Asos’ fastest growing market with retail sales up 72%, driven by localising of the trading calendar and content, investment in digital marketing and social media and continuing to develop the service proposition. 

Asos said sales performed strongly in its ‘rest of the world’ division, up 57% with “continued strong performances” in Australia, Russia, Singapore and China.

The company has appointed territory managers for three more offices outside of the UK, in New York, Berlin and Lille.

The company said distribution costs have increased by 55% on the comparative period due to a combination of increased order numbers but also increased delivery costs associated with reduced delivery times, increased tracked parcels and mobile notifications. Payroll and staff costs have increased by 19% as the etailer continues to expand. 

The company’s unaudited results for the year to August 31 reveal a 38% increase in group retail sales to £537.9m while UK retail sales rose 10% to £205.3m. Profit before tax and exceptional items rose 40% to £44.4m in the year. 

Chief executive Nick Robertson said: “Following our change of year-end I am pleased to report another strong performance for Asos. 

“During the period we improved our product offer in terms of range, quality and price; invested in our customer proposition; made progress in developing the Asos platform; and continued to drive efficiencies from the business to fuel our future growth.

“We remain positive in our outlook for 2012/13 as we continue our journey to becoming the number one online fashion destination for twenty-somethings, globally.”

The company also said that buying director Caren Downie is to leave the online retailer.