Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Asos said it would move to the main market of the London Stock Exchange after 20 years at Aim, as the online clothing retailer reported sales growth despite supply chain challenges.

The party attire seller said demand in the four months to December 31 was “volatile” due to Covid, but sales grew by 5 percent in line with guidance.

Asos, which listed on the alternative investment market in 2001 and was one of AIM’s largest companies, said it plans to move to the main market by the end of February 2022 as it wants to attract more investors.

Mat Dunn, chief operating officer, said: “The time is now right to move to the main market as we focus on delivering our medium-term leadership and long-term growth ambitions.”

Former CEO Nick Beighton left the company in October when it issued a profit warning, leaving Dunn to handle the day-to-day running of the business. Asos’ share price rose 8 percent in early trading.

Despite sales growth over Christmas, Asos said gross margins fell by 400 basis points to 43 percent as it cleared slow-moving inventory, faced increased freight costs and used air cargo to tackle supply constraints.

The Topshop brands, which Asos acquired from Arcadia in February 2021, performed well, growing 200 percent year-on-year.

Dunn said Asos had a “robust” start to the year in line with leadership, despite challenging market conditions.

Asos also announced the appointment of Patrick Kennedy, the chairman of Bank of Ireland and former Paddy Power CEO, to its board of directors.

Sherri Malek, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said the move to the main market was “another positive step for the share price”.

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