Asos crashes deeper into the red with £290m loss
ASOS insists its turnaround will bear fruit this year even though it has plunged further into the financial mire.
The fashion giant’s pre-tax losses soared from £15.8million to £290.9million.
It is cutting orders from suppliers to slash stock levels, hiking prices and keeping a tighter grip on costs.
Chief executive Jose Antonio Ramos Calamonte said the London-based company was “prioritising order economics over top-line growth”.
He added: “I am pleased with the strategic and rapid operational progress the business has made in the first half against some challenging trading conditions.
“I am very confident of our return to sustainable profit and cash generation in the second half of the year and beyond.”
The online fashion pioneer’s losses for the six months to the end of February came as it wrote off £130million in excess stock and was hit by property write-offs and closure costs. This followed Mr Calamonte’s decision to axe excess office and warehouse space.
Sales slumped, causing revenues to fall 8 per cent to £1.8billion. It was also hurt by cutting markdowns and marketing. Asos’s customer base shrank 7 per cent to 24.9 million, with items ordered down 14 per cent to 43.2 million. Website visits fell 12 per cent to 1.4 billion. UK sales were down 10 per cent, flat in Europe, up 7 per cent in the US, but down 36 per cent elsewhere. In the second half Asos predicts it will see a “low, double-digit decline” in sales. Russell Pointon, of City analyst Edison, said brands like Asos had a pandemic spurt but now “the cost-of-living crisis and – crucially – the return to the high street has induced a sharp downturn in consumer demand for online fashion”. Asos snapped up the Topshop and Miss Selfridge brands in 2021. It employs more than 3,000 people.