Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Online Fashion Firm Is Set to Defy High Street Gloom; in Association with RBS

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Online Fashion Firm Is Set to Defy High Street Gloom; in Association with RBS

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Dickinson

RETAILERS HMV and ASOS are in the spotlight with results this week, while Taylor Wimpey is set to give a gloomy snapshot of the housing market.

Today's results from online fashion retailer ASOS should reveal healthy profits growth as it bucks the high street trend of tough trading conditions.

ASOS - 'As Seen On Screen' - is expected to post pre-tax profits of around pounds 7m for the year to March 31, more than double the previous year's pounds 3.4m.

It targets 16 to 34-year-olds with celebrity-based outfits and boasts more than 8,300 products and more than 1.8 million registered users. Its share price has nearly trebled since October.

It raised City profit forecasts at its last update in April, reporting sales 80% ahead of the previous year.

ASOS launched more than seven years ago and has grown despite setbacks such as the Buncefield oil depot fire in 2005, which severely damaged stock at its Hemel Hempstead warehouse.

Music and games retailer HMV is set to unveil a sales recovery with its full-year results tomorrow.

The group - a year into chief executive Simon Fox's three-year turnaround plan - is expected to post pre-tax profits towards pounds 58m for the year to April 26, up from pounds 48.1m.

Flooring and carpet chain Carpetright reports full year figures tomorrow as concerns grow over the group's prospects amid slower consumer spending and housing market troubles.

Sales dropped 1.8% on a like-for-like basis across the UK and Ireland in the second half, as slumping property transactions affected demand for new flooring.

Shares in the group plunged to a four-and-a-half year low in March, with the collapse of an pounds 850m attempt by founder and chief executive Lord Harris to take the business private.

The stock has failed to lift far from this low, although full-year results are set to show that trading has not held profits growth back. …

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