Online retailer Asos has reported lower profits despite a record Christmas season contributing to a 27 per cent jump in half-year sales in the UK.
The fashion site blamed the 10 per cent decline in profits to £18 million for the six months to 28 February on the £75m cost of a two-year plan to upgrade its technology systems.
Asos, which sells more than 75,000 branded and own-brand products to 9.3 million customers, is midway through the IT overhaul as it also looks to modify pricing on nine overseas websites, where a strong pound has hit trading.
Retail sales in the UK jumped to £231m, driven by strong Christmas trading, although a 1 per cent fall in rest of the world sales limited total revenues growth to 14 per cent, at £550m.
Chief executive Nick Robertson said: “With our continued investment in our international price competitiveness gaining traction, momentum in the business is building.
“This gives us confidence in the outlook for the second half and that full-year profit and margin will be in line with expectations.”
In June, a major fire at its Barnsley warehouse caused short-term disruption but the company was able to recommence trading within two days.