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Asos initiative 'must drive sales'

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Asos initiative 'must drive sales'

Online fashion retailer Asos has said it hoped a new feature allowing smaller, independent designers to sell through its website will help it build on a strong run of sales.

The company said the “Asos Marketplace” initiative – allowing small boutiques to sell their fashion products to Asos customers – should boost traffic to its site and drive further sales when it is launched before Christmas.

It said another new feature – Fashion Finder – which allows customers to search for brands the company does not ordinarily sell, and a more rapid expansion in overseas markets, will also boost performance.

The company posted a 59% surge in pre-tax profits to £7 million in the six months to September 30, with a 50% rise in retail sales to £131 million, within which UK retail sales were up 26% to £82 million.

International retail sales jumped from £22.3 million to £49 million in the period, and now account for 37% of total retail sales, up from 25% for the same period last year.

Asos has launched French and German language websites since the end of the period, following a US site launch in September. The firm said it now planned to launch further country-specific websites at a faster pace.

It also launched a mobile site for use on Blackberrys and iPhones.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said the company was positive about the outlook and expected full-year results to be in line with market expectations.

He said: “In anticipation of continued strong growth, we have maintained our programme of investment, specifically around resource, logistics and our technical capabilities.”

The company, which offers 40,000 product lines aimed at 16 to 34-year-olds, now ships to 195 countries and employs 1,161 staff.

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