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Growing overseas sales helped Asos shrug off tough market conditions for fashion retailers over the last six months, as it increased its full-year sales guidance for the second time this year.

Revenues in the six months to February 28 were 37 per cent higher than the same period last year, at £911.5m, driven by a 54 per cent increase in international sales to £548.4m. Pre-tax profits climbed 14 per cent to £27.3m.

The company – which increased its full-year sales guidance only two months ago – said it now expects annual revenue growth to be even higher, at 30 to 35 per cent, compared to previous estimates of 25 to 30 per cent.

The company increased its full-year sales guidance and said it would spend more on capital investment earlier this year after a strong end to 2016.

Shares in the AIM-listed group have increased more than 80 per cent over the last 12 months, giving the company a market capitalisation more than twice as large as the next-biggest group on the market.

In December it also announced plans to hire an additional 1,500 staff at its London headquarters over the next three years as it seeks to double its profits.

Asos’ positivity contrasts with many of its UK rivals, which have been struggling against rising inflation and a broader structural shift away from spending on clothing. Last month Next reported its first drop in annual profits for eight years, while H&M said last week that it would increase investment and launch a new brand in response to disappointing sales growth.

Nick Beighton, Asos chief executive, said:

These are a strong set of results, showing great progress across the business.

Given the current momentum we are seeing, Asos is making good progress towards its ultimate goal of becoming the world’s number one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.

Photo: Bloomberg

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