Asos first-half results: what the analysts say
UK-based online fashion retailer Asos yesterday reported its first-half results. What did the City make of the company's recent performance?
Aurelie Caspar, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Although we think these results will reassure the market, it is worth remembering that historically, broadly, three-quarters of FY profits are made in H2, so the Christmas season will be crucial, as ever. We continue to believe that Asos has structural advantages and that its long-term international potential is significant. The higher margin international business now represents approximately 60% of sales and will account for most of the growth going forward. We still think Asos is best placed to win the online global fashion race and that its strong international focus justifies a higher valuation.
Simon Bowler, Citi
Across H1, Asos has grown profits ahead of revenues, with the business model absorbing the significant investment in free worldwide delivery. From here, with a growing participation of higher-margin international sales, and further leverage of the fixed cost base, we expect the focus of investments to return to staffing and marketing initiatives. This should underpin a continued premium revenue growth outlook.
Gillian Hilditch, JP Morgan Cazenove
We believe that the strong growth experienced in Q2 has been maintained in to Q3. Asos continues to improve the international proposition which should contribute to its maintaining super-normal growth rates in the near term. International developments include the introduction of managers for all major territories as well as a continued effort to reduce shipping times.
Andrew Wade, Numis
Asos' H1 results are in-line with expectations with a PBT of GBP11.6m, 66% ahead of last year. Within the detail, we were impressed by the operating leverage delivered, and seeing little to derail the progress of the more profitable international growth story, reiterate, buy.
Matthew McEachran, Singer Capital Markets
Management indicate UK growth in October is ahead of that in H1, confirming our view that implementation hindered growth. This should be well received. They indicate a tough backdrop, but believe short/medium term UK growth is achievable through product/offer/awareness improvements. Running with a single stock pool means as international demand surges, UK achieved sales could slow naturally as long as stock continues to be very tightly managed.
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