The British online fashion retailer Asos said that its sales and profits for the full year ending in August are expected to be significantly ahead of market expectations, thanks to stronger-than-anticipated underlying demand and lower-than-forecast returns.
Revenue growth is expected to reach 17-19 percent, with pretax profit in the region of £130 to £150 million (€144m-$170m to €167m-$196m).
The company was expecting to see underlying returns normalize once Covid-19-related lockdown measures eased and customers were both able to ship returns and felt more comfortable doing so. Asos added that it has seen a “significant and sustained reduction in returns rates since April.”
It explains the decline in returns in part to demand for “lockdown” categories, such as activewear and face and body products, it said. “However, rates have been further suppressed below estimated levels by a prolonged shift in customer behaviour towards more deliberate purchasing across all product categories, even when sales momentum has improved,” it noted.
Asos warned that the consumer and economic outlook remains uncertain and that it is unclear how long the current favorable shopping behavior will last.