UPDATE: ASOS Interim Profit Rises Sevenfold, Plans Equity Placing

(Alliance News) - ASOS PLC on Tuesday said profit for the first half of its financial year ...

Alliance News 7 April, 2020 | 6:34PM
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(Alliance News) - ASOS PLC on Tuesday said profit for the first half of its financial year increased sevenfold on a double digit rise in retail sales globally.

The online retailer was originally scheduled to release its interim results on Wednesday at 0700 BST.

Also on Tuesday, the online fashion retailer said it will raise funds through a placing of new shares in the company.

ASOS did not disclose how much they intended to raise, the number of share to be placed or the issue price for each share, but said the proceeds will go towards providing sufficient liquidity and flexibility for the company to manage through a period of continued disruption.

In addition, ASOS said that the amount of shares to be issued will not exceed 19% of the company's existing share capital.

JP Morgan Securities PLC and Numis Securities Ltd will act as joint global coordinators, while Barclays Bank PLC, BNP Paribas and HSBC Bank PLC will be joint bookrunners.

Shares in ASOS closed 34% higher at 1,559.50 pence on Tuesday in London.

For the six months to the end of February, ASOS's pretax profit was GBP30.1 million, a sharp increase from GBP4.0 million the year before, as revenue grew by 21% to GBP1.60 billion from GBP1.31 billion, driven by a 21% rise in overall retail sales.

In the UK, ASOS's home market, retail sales increased by 20%, as active customer growth increased by 10% and orders by 18% despite increased competition.

EU sales increased by 21% as operational challenges were settled before the peak trading period.

In the US, sales increased by 25%, as orders rose by 21% and active customers by 19%, due to improvements in delivery propositions and more favourable basket economics.

Finally, for the Rest of the World, retail sales grew by 20%, as a stronger performance in the Middle East & North Africa and Russia more than offset softer trading in Australia due to the bushfires.

As at February 29, net debt increased fourfold to GBP163.6 million from GBP37.9 million at February 28 the year before.

Looking ahead, ASOS said that the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted demand since containment measures were introduced, with group sales down by 20% to 25% in the most recent three weeks of trading.

In addition to the equity placing, ASOS is finalising discussions to secure a 12 month extension to its revolving credit facility of GBP60 million to GBP80 million to ensure additional operational flexibility.

"ASOS had a strong start to the year, making significant progress against the priorities we set out and delivering a better than anticipated first-half performance, driven by the operational improvements we are making to the business," said Chief Executive Officer Nick Beighton.

"Along with other businesses, we have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Our first priority was to quickly put in place the necessary measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of our people. I have been extremely impressed with the pace of change and the flexibility our teams have shown in adopting these new ways of working. I'd like to thank them all for the way they have responded," Beighton added.

By Dayo Laniyan; dayolaniyan@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
ASOS PLC 2,908.00 GBX -2.32

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