UPDATE 1-ASOS year profit soars

Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:52am EDT

* Pro forma underlying pretax up 40 pct to 44.5 mln stg

* International sales up 64 pct, UK sales up 10 pct

* Says positive on outlook for 2012/13

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - British online fashion retailer ASOS posted an expected 40 percent rise in year profit, as strong trading in overseas markets, such as the United States and Australia, more than offset slower growth in its home market.

The retailer, which targets young women looking to emulate the designer looks of celebrities like Tulisa Contostavlos, Nicole Scherzinger and Kate Moss, said on Thursday it made a pro forma underlying pretax profit of 44.5 million pounds in the year to August 31

That was in line with analysts' consensus forecast of 44 million pounds and up from 31.7 million pounds in the same period last year.

ASOS has changed its year end from March to August.

Retail sales rose 38 percent to 538 million pounds, with UK sales up 10 percent to 205 million pounds and international sales up 64 percent to 333 million pounds.

Many British retailers have been finding the going tough as disposable incomes are squeezed by government austerity measures and with wages growth not keeping up with rises in prices.

ASOS, with its broad international reach, has bucked the gloom.

"We remain positive in our outlook for 2012/13," said Chief Executive Nick Robertson.

Shares in the firm have risen 73 percent over the last three months hitting a record high of 2,571 pence last week.

The stock closed at 2,510 pence on Wednesday, valuing the business at 2.05 billion pounds.

Earlier this month ASOS said Kate Bostock, a former top executive at Marks & Spencer, would join the firm as executive director, product and trading, in January to help steer its rapid growth.

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