• First quarter retail sales increased 45% to GBP193.6m 
  • UK sales were up 39% to GBP64.3m 
  • International sales increased45% to GBP193.6m

Online clothing retailer Asos has recorded continued strong growth, driven by good momentum both in the UK and internationally.

The company said retail sales grew 45% to GBP193.6m (US$303.2m) over the quarter ended 31 May from EUR133.9m in the same period of the prior year. In the UK, sales increased 39% to GBP64.3m. 

Overall international sales increased 45% to GBP193.6m, with US sales growing 59% to GBP21.2m, EU sales growing 56% to GBP47.2m, while sales in the rest of the world increased 48% to GBP60.8m.

"We continue to see stronger growth in those countries where we have dedicated websites and in-country teams, notably in the US, France, Germany and Australia. Our dedicated Russian website launched on 1 May 2013," said CEO Nick Robertson.

"Retail gross margin grew by 10bps over the quarter as we annualised last year's price investments.We anticipate a further increase in the fourth quarter which should result in a small improvement for the year as a whole. "We remain positive in our outlook for the year to 31 August 2013 and expect our full year results to be in line with expectations."

Conlumino analyst Anusha Couttigane said the quarter has seen some notable highlights, including adding Primark to its offer, and launching a local Russian site five months ahead of schedule.

"ASOS caught the retail world unawares when it unveiled budget fashion chain Primark as its latest addition, two months after the chief executive of Primark's parent company ABF ruled out launching an online operation. A capsule collection of 20 womenswear products introduced to ASOS' website earlier this month has already grown to over 60 menswear and womenswear lines. This move underpins ASOS' focus on expanding its value-level offer in the UK, having joined forces with New Look last year, which also offsets the premiumisation it has seen in recent times with brands like Antipodium," said Couttigane. 

"There was no lack of surprises on the international front either, as ASOS launched its Russian language site on 1 May - five months ahead of schedule. Now planning to use its Barnsley distribution centre instead of establishing one in Russia, the decision to move the launch forward came after ASOS' consumer research revealed that Russian customers would be prepared to wait longer for deliveries. The size of the country means two weeks is a typical lead time."