ASOS Plc Gains 10% After Beating Expectations

Shares in ASOS (LSE: ASC) soared by more than 10% in early trade this morning, after posting strong Q4 results for the three-month period ended 31 August 2013.

Retail sales in the UK saw a 49% lift to £74.1m in the quarter, with international sales also performing strongly as reflected by an increase of 47% (Rest of World beat its comparative quarter last year by a whopping 73%, with sales in the US performing admirably after a 59% rise).

Total sales came in at £207.9m, 47% ahead of Q4 2011/12, which led to total group revenues — including retail sales, delivery receipts and third-party revenues — jumping by 46% to £212.5m.

For the full year, total retail sales rose 40% to £753.8m, again boosted by strong performances in America (+57%) and through its international outlets. All in, ASOS now expects pre-tax profit for the full year to be “marginally above expectations”.

Chief executive officer Nick Robertson commented:

“Retail sales growth during Q4 was strong in both the UK at +49% and Internationally at +47%. International growth continues to be driven by the countries in which we have dedicated websites and in-country teams, and was particularly strong in Europe, driven by France, Germany, Italy and Spain. We also saw strong growth in the US and in Russia, following the launch of our Russian website.  International equated to 64% of our total retail sales over the period compared with 65% last year, reflecting the strength of our core UK business during the quarter. 

“We have now annualised last year’s price investments and retail gross margin for the quarter grew by c.460bps year on year. This strong gross margin position has allowed us to continue to invest in the overall customer offer, attracting more active customers which now stand at 7.1 million. “

This fast-growth AIM company has now gained over 100% in the past 12 months — and over 1,000% over the last five years! Time and again I’ve questioned whether I should jump on the bandwagon as it looks easy money… but what’s always put me off is the lofty valuation and the P/E of 70+!

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> Sam does not own shares in ASOS.