Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 11:58 UK

ASOS sees strength in web sales

An ASOS dress
ASOS targets 16 to 34 year olds with cut-price versions of celebrity outfits

Online fashion retailer ASOS has seen yearly sales rise and sees growth ahead despite the economic downturn.

Annual sales to the end of March rose 90% to hit 81m from a year earlier, according to a trading update.

ASOS, which stands for As Seen on Screen, sells cut-price versions of designs worn by celebrities.

The firm predicts slightly better than forecast annual profits, and says online firms are more resilient to an economic downturn than other outlets.

The profit forecast comes despite a 1.1m cost of closing a warehouse damaged by the Buncefield depot fire.

"I'm very optimistic about the prospects for ASOS and we'll continue to grow the way we have in the last six to seven years," said its chief executive Nick Robertson.

Analysts say that online retailing could indeed be the growth area in the sector.

"The internet is the right place to be in retail at present and the youngish customer base is more immune from housing market cycles than the typical high street shopper," said Mark Photiades at Landsbanki.

ASOS also said that the current year had started positively, with sales up about 80% in April.

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