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2 growth goliaths that could fund your retirement

Photo credit: Stefan Ritt. Cropped. Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Online fashion giant Asos (LSE: ASC) this week underlined the huge growth potential of its operations with its latest set of interims.

On Tuesday the internet-only retailer advised that retail sales shot 38% higher during September-March, to £889.2m, a result that powered pre-tax profit to £27.3m, up 14% year-on-year.

The London business is a clear beneficiary of the rising migration of shoppers from bricks-and-mortar stores to those in cyberspace, not just in its UK market but across the globe. Indeed, while domestic market sales grew at an impressive 18% during the six months, international revenues at Asos leapt 58% higher.

Naturally it faces the prospect of slowing sales in Britain as consumers’ spending power comes under increasing pressure. But I reckon the exceptional momentum the firm is enjoying on foreign shores should keep group sales chugging higher – indeed, revenues generated outside of the UK now account for two-thirds of the total, up from 55% just a year ago.

Clothes colossus

But Asos’s rising popularity with fashion shoppers isn’t solely down to the growth of e-commerce.

The retailer has plunged huge sums of money into improving its online platforms across all territories. And it has a number of other tricks up its sleeve for the months ahead, from improving payment and delivery options through to personalising the customer experience even further.

At the same time it is bulking up its distribution web to effectively service its clients. The retailer opened its state-of-the-art Eurohub2 distribution centre in Berlin last month, and is expected to announce the location of its US hub in the very near future.

The City certainly expects these measures to keep powering the bottom line and building on the retailer’s 43% earnings advance in the year to August 2016, the number crunchers expect expansion of 25% in the current period and 28% next year.

While subsequent P/E ratios of 74.5 times and 58.1 times look heady on paper, I believe Asos is one of the most promising growth stocks out there and fully deserving of such lofty valuations.

Cutting the mustard

Although Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) is not expected to punch the same sort of earnings growth as Asos, I reckon the firm is a brilliant pick for those seeking reliable bottom-line expansion year after year.

The global appeal of labels like Dettol, Clearasil and Finish provide Reckitt Benckiser with the sort of revenues visibility most firms can only dream of, as does its broad presence across both developed and emerging economies.

And the company’s touted sale of its non-core Food operations (Reckitt Benckiser placed labels like French’s mustard under strategic review this week) should, if it happens, free up capital for investment in its other well-loved labels.

City brokers expect Reckitt Benckiser to keep its hot earnings streak going with rises of 10% and 7% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. And I reckon consequent P/E ratios of 21.6 times and 20.2 times are decent value for long-term investors.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended ASOS. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Reckitt Benckiser. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.