Asos shares plunge after profit warning

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Online fashion retailer Asos saw its shares fall by almost a third today after it warned profits would fall short of its hopes because of higher promotional activity and the stronger pound.

In an unscheduled trading statement, the firm said its operating margin for the full year was now expected to come in at about 4.5 per cent, lower than its previous 6.5 per cent forecast.

The group said sales in the UK soared 43 per cent in the three months to 31 May, but the strength of the pound saw international sales growth slow to 17 per cent.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said: “Whilst our profit performance for this financial year is not what we had hoped for due to an unusual combination of factors, our accelerated investment in technology and infrastructure to support our £2.5 billion sales ambition is progressing and capex remains within guided levels.”

Following the update, shares in Asos tumbled almost 30 per cent.

Analysts at Numis said: “While we recognise that this update reflects a significant reset in the financial outlook for Asos, particularly as it adjusts to a less favourable sterling backdrop, we continue to believe that the quality of the customer proposition supports a significant global growth opportunity.”