ASOS sees £25m-£30m go up in flames

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ASOS has blamed the fire at its Barnsley distribution centre in June for a £25m-£30m loss in sales for the three months to September as it released its final quarter results.

Despite the loss, the company announced a 15 per cent year-on-year upturn in sales, comprised of 33 per cent growth in its UK business, up from £74m in the three-month period of 2013 to £98m this year, and 6 per cent growth internationally, up from £133m to £141m.

Nick Robinson, ASOS CEO, said: “Due to the fire at our Barnsley distribution centre, we lost sales during the quarter of between £25m and £30m with a retail gross margin.

“After adjusting for insurance proceeds, we expect profit before tax for the year to be in line with market expectations.”

[asset_ref old_id=”24729″] Image courtesy of Guy Sie

South Yorkshire Police launched a criminal investigation into the fire, which involved four floors of the warehouse, in June after initial inquiries suggested that the blaze was the result of arson. ASOS suspended taking orders for two days as a result of the fire.

Year-to-date figures have also shown significant growth, up 27 per cent year-on-year, with 35 per cent UK growth and 22 per cent international growth. In total, the company has reported £955m in annual sales, up from £753m for the 12 months to August 2013.

“In the new financial year we’ll make significant investments in our international pricing and proposition, as well as in our logistical infrastructure and technology platform,” says Robinson

He adds that the company expects profit before tax for the year ending August 2015 to be at “a similar level” to 2013/2014.

“We remain focused on the long term opportunity for ASOS, with £2.5bn of sales as our next staging post,” says Robinson.


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