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ASOS confident on outlook as profit edges higher


British online fashion retailer ASOS met forecasts with a 1 percent rise in profit for 2014-15, helped by demand for cut-price fashions abroad and strong trading in its home market.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The firm, whose founder, Nick Robertson, quit as chief executive last month, also said on Tuesday that trading in its new financial year had started well.

ASOS, whose fast fashion is popular with Internet savvy twentysomethings, forecast sales growth for the 2015-16 year of about 20 percent.

"We remain focused on achieving our next staging post of 2.5 billion pounds ($3.87 billion) (of) sales," said Nick Beighton, who stepped up to CEO from chief operating officer on Robertson's exit.

ASOS made a pretax profit of 47.5 million pounds in the year to August 31.

That compared to analysts' average forecast of 47.2 million pounds and the 46.9 million pounds it made in the 2013-14 year.

Its total retail sales rose 17 percent to 1.12 billion pounds, with UK sales up 27 percent, international sales up 11 percent and gross margin rising 20 basis points.

The firm had a tough 2014 when it issued three profit warnings but its trading recovered in 2015, helped by price cuts and a zonal pricing system that allows the firm to charge prices country by country to reflect fluctuating exchange rates.

Shares in ASOS, up 51 over the last year, closed Monday at 2,928 pence, valuing the business at 2.44 billion pounds.

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