Online retailer Zalando reports first profit as eyes IPO

BERLIN Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:03am EDT

BERLIN Aug 28 (Reuters) - Zalando, Europe's biggest online fashion retailer, reported first-half sales rose 29.5 percent and it made its first-ever profit, laying the groundwork for an expected imminent initial public offering.

Zalando, which competes with Britain's ASOS Plc, said first-half sales came in at 1.047 billion euros ($1.38 billion), while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) swung to 12 million euros compared with an operating loss a year ago of 72 million.

Zalando, which is holding its first media presentation later on Thursday, is set to announce plans in the first half of September to list a stake of around 15 percent that could value the company at some 6 billion euros, sources have told Reuters.

Rubin Ritter, a member of Zalando's management board, declined to comment on the listing plans on Thursday.

The Berlin-based company, which began selling shoes in 2008, now ships 1,500 brands to customers in 15 countries, gaining widespread visibility for its "scream for joy" ads showing delighted customers tearing open Zalando packages.

($1 = 0.7569 euro) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson)

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