Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Strong Christmas sales for ASOS

Nick Robertson, ASOS chief executive
The ASOS chief executive said promotions had affected profit margins

Online fashion retailer ASOS has reported strong Christmas trading, despite the economic slowdown.

Promotions helped sales to increase 118% over the nine weeks to 16 January and attract a record number of visitors to its website, the firm said.

ASOS said it would continue its investment programme and full-year profits would meet expectations.

Many UK retailers are struggling as customers cut back on spending amid fears of a deep recession.

ASOS, formerly known as As Seen on Screen, sells versions of designs worn by celebrities.

"We have had another great Christmas," said ASOS chief executive Nick Robertson.

"Sales, visitors, conversion and average basket value were all at record levels with the website attracting 5.2 million unique visitors in December alone."

ASOS said sales over the 42 weeks to 16 January were up 108%, and it now has 1.2m active customers, a 112% increase on last year.

'Cautiously optimistic'

It said free delivery at weekends and other promotions had increased sales.

"Whilst this has impacted margin, we expect profit before tax for the year to 31 March 2009 to be in line with the board's expectations," said Mr Robertson.

He added: "We will continue with our programme of investment, putting in the infrastructure to support continued growth."

The firm said it was "cautiously optimistic" about the future.

Many UK retailers are struggling as consumers cut back on spending amid fears of rising unemployment and a deepening economic slowdown.

But ASOS, whose shares have increased by 14% over the last year, has benefited from a young customer base and retail spending moving from the High Street to the internet.

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