We may think of the FTSE 100 as the domain of globe-spanning oil majors and banks but the smallest constituent by market cap of the UK’s large-cap index is a surprisingly tiny £1.7bn. For fast growing AIM-listed ASOS (LSE: ASC) I reckon joining this more illustrious index is a very achievable target.
Indeed, ASOS could already be in the FTSE 100 if it moved its listing to the main market as its market cap is already a whopping £4.3bn. This may seem a lofty valuation for an AIM-listed share but the online fast fashion juggernaut posted £1.4bn in sales last year, a full 26% increase over the year prior.
Although investing in an AIM-listed online-only fast fashion retailer may seem a tad risky for the more risk-averse investors among us, I believe ASOS has incredible long-term staying power. The key is management’s prescient decision several years ago to open its online store to other global and smaller fashion brands.
Sales from these other brands now account for 56% of total revenue. They serve to broaden ASOS’s appeal in foreign markets and provide a significant safety cushion should the company’s own designs fall out of favour with consumers.
Bringing in outside brands was also an important step in the company’s target to become the Google or Facebook of fashion for 20-somethings. This is a very ambitious plan, but the company is already the number one online retailer for its core demographic in Australia and the UK and is fast rising in popularity in the US and EU.
With double-digit growth continuing unabated in each of its markets, no debt whatsoever to constrain growth and a proven ability to continually relate to 20-somethings across the world, I reckon the future is bright indeed for ASOS.
Not too far to go now
Measured by its £1.5bn market cap, premium mixer maker Fevertree Drinks (LSE: FEVR) would be within shouting distance of the FTSE 100 were it not listed on the AIM. The reason I believe it has the potential to become one of the UK’s biggest firms is its rapid expansion into new markets and the increasing array of drinks it produces.
Fevertree’s premium tonics, lemonades and cola are now sold in over 50 countries and have been a huge hit with consumers. The company’s pre-close trading update for 2016 showed year-on-year sales increases of 118% in the UK, 39% in Europe, 55% in the US and 88% in the rest of the world. All told, it expects annual sales to jump 75% year-on-year to around £102m.
Also encouraging is the fact that founders Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow are still in the management team and together own around 21% of the outstanding shares. This leads me to believe they’re in it for the long haul and reminds me of the success of founder-led firms such as Ted Baker.
Fevertree shares are very pricey at 55 times forward earnings, which could mean significant volatility should the company post one or two less than satisfactory trading updates. But with a huge first mover advantage over competitors, loads of cash on the balance sheet and plenty of room to penetrate new markets and introduce new beverages, I still like it over the long term.
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Ian Pierce has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), ASOS, and Facebook. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Ted Baker plc. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.