• Profit before tax increased 19% to GBP25.69m
  • Sales grew 34% to GBP352.3m
  • International sales grew 39% to GBP214.7m

Online fashion retailer Asos has posted another half of strong profit and sales growth, and confirmed plans to launch a dedicated website in China.

Profit before tax increased 19% to GBP25.69m (US$39.8m), while retail sales surged 34% to GBP352.3m. In the UK, sales increased 26% to GBP137.6m as international sales grew 39% to GBP214.7m.

"Momentum is strong, and 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," said CEO Nick Robertson.

"Our international roll-out continues and our GBP1bn sales ambition for the group is firmly in our sights."

The company now has in-country teams in its five key target markets - the UK, US, Australia, France and Germany - and is seeing strong growth in those countries as a result. It is now focusing on "tactical" countries. It already has dedicated websites in Italy and Spain, and is now focusing on Russia and China.

"Expansion into the Chinese market is an integral part of our strategy to be a truly global retailer. We have completed an in-depth review of the Chinese market, including the customer base, use of internet and social media, logistics and delivery options as well as product sourcing and storage," the company said.

Set to launch early in the next financial year, the Chinese operating model will differ from the rest of Asos' international activities, and will include a standalone technology platform, local third-party distribution centre, local delivery solutions and payment methods, and a larger multi-disciplinary in-country team.

"This will give us the right platform to provide a proposition tailored to our Chinese customers and to maximise the long-term potential from this exciting market," the company said.

Initially, the company will offer around 10% of its product range in China, which will expand as the business grows.

The Russian site is set to launch next month, and will include a dedicated Cyrillic website and focused marketing team, and with all fulfilment taking place from its UK hub.