Trading Statement for the three months ended 31 May 2023

Trading Statement for the three months ended 31 May 2023

15 June 2023

Trading Statement for the three months ended 31 May 2023

Return to profitability as "Driving Change" agenda delivers. FY23 guidance reiterated.

Summary financial results


Three months to 31 May

Nine months to 31 May





CCY1,2,3 change (adjusted)

CCY1 change



Reported change




CCY1,2,3 change (adjusted)

CCY1 change



Reported change

UK total sales











EU total sales











US total sales











ROW total sales











Total group revenue5












Strategic update and P3 results summary

The Company continues to execute on its Driving Change agenda. The following progress was made during the period3:

  • Return to profitability with P3 adjusted earnings before interest and tax ("EBIT") up more than £20m year-on-year ("YoY") and EBIT margin up 250bps YoY. On-track to deliver adjusted EBIT guidance of £40-60m in H2 FY23.
  • This return to profit came despite revenue down 14%, as expected, and reflecting deliberate actions on capital allocation to improve profitability.
  • c.£200m of profit optimisation and cost savings realised year-to-date ("YTD"). On track to deliver c.£300m of benefits targeted in FY23, which equates to c.£385m of gross annualised benefits.
  • Profit per order up over 30%6 YTD versus last year driven by actions taken to improve profitability of underperforming brands and geographies.
  • Adjusted gross margin7 up 350bps YoY supported by freight (c.200bps) and improvements in realised selling value and sourcing.
  • Inventory down by c.15% on FY22, consistent with the target of a c.20% reduction by FY23, with 86% of stock less than 12 months old. H2 FY23 intake -36% YoY with option count down 30%. H1 FY24 intake expected to be down 33% YoY with option count -13%.
  • Active customers8 down by 0.8m from the 24.9m reported at H1 FY23, reflecting a continued focus on improving the profitability of sales over the pursuit of growth at any cost.
  • As announced on 25 May, the Company strengthened its balance sheet through a new, long-term £275m financing facility and c.£80m equity raise. The new capital structure provides ASOS with increased resilience and significant flexibility, free of any profit-based covenants. It is fully aligned with ASOS' shift to its new commercial model, which includes reducing inventory, faster clearance of unsold stock and improving stock turn.
  • The return to profitability and cash generation in H2 FY23 and beyond will further strengthen the balance sheet. H2 FY23 and full-year FY23 expectations are unchanged from the guidance issued in the H1 FY23 results announcement on 10 May 20239.

CEO review

Why is this the right plan?

At our FY22 results announcement, we reported net debt of £153m, down from a net cash position of £200m in FY21 and £408m in FY20. This decline was predominantly driven by the purchase of too much stock, with FY21 and FY22 intake c.50% higher than in the preceding two years. The issue was compounded by the sharp bounce back of store-based retail post-pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which both triggered a deterioration in the global macroeconomic backdrop and resulted in ASOS exiting its Russian operations on 2 March 2022. We closed FY22 with £1.1bn of inventory, twice the size of our stock balance in FY20. In two years, the c.£560m increase in our net debt position was broadly equal to the c.£550m increase in our stock. While underlying issues were undoubtedly compounded by unpredictable demand and disrupted supply chains during the pandemic, it was clear that significant changes were required to the way the business was operating.

To do this, in October 2022 we set out four key pillars of our Driving Change agenda: 1. Renewed commercial model; 2. Stronger order economics and lighter cost profile; 3. Robust and flexible balance sheet; 4. Reinforced leadership & culture. But what does this really mean? We put in place a plan to turn the business around: to right-size our stock; to generate cash; to reduce our net debt; and to structurally improve our profitability. We started this turnaround process by taking decisive action on the most urgent issues and bringing in the people we need to make this happen.

We now have: i) long-term financing in place which provides significant flexibility, free of any profit-based covenants and giving us ample headroom to take the action we need to reset our commercial model and right-size our stock; and ii) the leadership team in place that can drive this turnaround, complementing the talent that built ASOS as a disruptive force with external experience and perspective that can make us even better. We have reduced inventory by 15% YTD and 86% of our current stock is less than 12 months old. We will reduce inventory levels by c.20% by FY23 year-end, supported by a reduction in H2 FY23 intake of 36%. A further significant reduction is expected in FY24 that will return inventory days to pre-Covid levels (reducing stock levels below £600m) and underpin a material improvement in cash generation next financial year.

It's now about completing the right-sizing of our stock, which will further restore our balance sheet; and continuing to improve profitability so we can grow again while generating cash. Or put another way:

1.   We turn the stock we have into cash and buy less stock;

2.   We improve profit per order by: i) improving our gross margin (our sourcing, buying, pricing); and ii) focusing on profitable orders (particularly internationally);

3.   With a profitable base established, we grow again by investing into customer acquisition and lifetime value.

There is no instant fix and the necessary changes will take some time, but we are making great progress.

A breakdown of each of these actions is provided in the full CEO review, available in the RNS here.

How will this impact our supply chain?

ASOS has developed strong relationships with its suppliers over the last two decades, based on the mutual benefit that those partnerships provide. Our assortment is sourced from over 1,000 suppliers across our own brands and the best fashion brands on the planet. Our own brands account for c.40% of our revenues and are available exclusively on the ASOS platform (with the exception of our joint venture with Nordstrom in the US). We complement this own-brand offering with a curated range of fashion-focused product from c.900 brand partners who are attracted to ASOS by our unique creative lens and deep understanding of a customer base that is often hard to reach. Our model is highly resilient, with no single partner brand accounting for more than 6% of our total revenues. 

However, we have started to further improve the efficiency of our supply chain across both our own brands and partner brands. Across both channels, we are improving the shape of our buy - buying more of expected best-sellers (backing the winners) and reducing intake on the long-tail. In own brand, we are  accelerating our speed to market through two key initiatives: i) the expansion of our Test and React model, which cut lead times from c.20 weeks to c.2 weeks in our recent trial; and ii) better leveraging relationships with our best suppliers to remove unnecessary administrative processes, which can increase speed and lower cost. It may also mean consolidating some of our own-brand suppliers or relocating some of our sourcing. On the partner brands side, we have already removed unprofitable, non-strategic brands from some or all territories and we are rolling out Partner Fulfils and ASOS Fulfilment Services models to offer increased width and / or depth in the assortment without the associated inventory risk.

The strength of our partnerships is best demonstrated by the fact that, despite the reduction in volume purchased by ASOS over the last six months and the ongoing consolidation of our supplier base, ASOS has not lost any relationship with a top 100 supplier.

At our H1 FY23, we reported trade and other payables of £837m. Around one third of this balance relates to stock payables, one third relating to non-stock payables and accruals, and the remainder relating to returns, deferred revenue and VAT payables. We typically pay our suppliers within 40-70 days depending on our agreed terms which typically involves a trade-off between cost and speed of payment (for example, many suppliers give discounts or rebates for faster payment). We have seen some tightening in the market over the last 6-12 months and prudently anticipate that this will continue. We estimate broadly 20% of our trade payables (by value) was previously covered by third party trade credit insurers, who we understand have now removed or cut cover. However, this is manageable, we continue to pay to terms and we expect any negative impact on cashflow to be modest.

What were the key considerations in our refinancing?

During the period, ASOS strengthened its balance sheet through a new long-term £275m financing facility alongside a cash placing of new ordinary shares which raised gross proceeds of c.£80m. As is typical of financing from traditional lenders, our previous financing facility was subject to Net Debt/EBITDA and Interest Cover covenants. The new asset-based financing facility provides simplicity under a single lender and is subject only to a minimum liquidity covenant (i.e. there are no profit-based covenants). It provides the stability of a structure in place to April 2026, with the flexibility to exit early or extend for an additional 12 months. These were key factors when determining the right financing structure to enable the business to focus solely on actions that will drive long-term value creation, free of any potential distortion from managing for short term maintenance-based covenants. The estimated annual cash interest cost of the new facilities is c.£30m.


ASOS will retain its focus on profitable sales and its commitment to reducing inventory for the remainder of FY23. Expectations for H2 FY23 and full-year FY23 are unchanged from guidance issued in the H1 FY23 results announcement on 10 May 2023, as updated on 25 May to account for the cash costs of re-financing. As such, we are on track to build on the more than £400m of cash and undrawn facilities reported at H1 FY23 over the course of H2 FY23.

While the Company remains cautious on top-line outlook for the year ahead, the actions taken will continue to have a positive impact on profitability and cashflow. As such, the Company expects material cash generation in FY24 and therefore a further reduction in net debt.

José Antonio Ramos Calamonte, Chief Executive Officer, said:

"We continue to focus on making ASOS the best possible destination for our fashion-loving customers. At the same time, we are delivering on our plan to turn the business around: to right-size our stock; to generate cash; to reduce our net debt; and to structurally improve our profitability. I am confident in the direction we are going, we have restored profitability in the period and made good progress in clearing through our inventory to generate cash. We retain ample balance sheet flexibility and reiterate our expectations for improved profitability, cash generation and reduction in net debt in H2 FY23 and beyond."


1 Constant currency is calculated to take account of hedged rate movements on hedged sales and spot rate movements on unhedged sales.

2 Adjusted revenue excludes non-underlying jobber income associated with the transition to the new Commercial Model of £6.1m in P3 FY23 and £8.2m in P3 FY23 YTD.

3 All numbers subject to rounding throughout this document. Revenue is stated at constant currency, adjusted for non-underlying items and excludes Russia from the P3 YTD FY22 comparative base period following the decision to suspend trade in Russia on 2 March 2022, unless otherwise stated. Any other adjusted measures exclude non-underlying items.

4 RoW and Group total sales for P3 FY22 and P3 FY22 YTD have been restated. This restatement relates to the removal of the £19.3m gain on RUB hedges, which was reported as revenue at P3 FY22 but subsequently reallocated to other income at year-end FY22.

5 Includes retail sales, wholesale and income from other services comprising delivery receipt payments, marketing services and commission on partner-fulfilled sales.

6 Profit per order based on variable contribution. YTD profit per order based off September 2022 - April 2023 data  vs September 2021- April 2022.

7 Adjusted gross margin excludes the P3 FY23 gross profit impact of the stock write-off of £1.8m announced at FY22. Comparative gross margin for P3 FY22 is restated to 42.8% to remove the £19.3m gain on RUB hedges, which was reported within revenue at P3 FY22 but subsequently reallocated to other income at year-end FY22.

8 Active customers including those in Russia who shopped in the last 12 months as at 31 May 2023 total 24.1m (as at 31st May 2022: 26.5m); excluding Russia 24.1m (as at 31st May 2022: 25.6m).

9 Updated for an increase in the H2 FY23 cash cost of refinancing from c.£25m to c.£45m in the announcement of the refinancing of 25 May 2023.

10 Relates to the non-underlying stock write off in relation to the new commercial model announced at the FY22 results announcement.

Background note

ASOS is a destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings around the world, with a purpose to give its customers the confidence to be whoever they want to be. Through its app and mobile/desktop web experience, available in nine languages and in over 200 markets, ASOS customers can shop a curated edit of nearly 60,000 products, sourced from nearly 900 global and local third-party brands alongside a mix of fashion-led own-brand labels - ASOS Design, ASOS Edition, ASOS 4505, Collusion, Reclaimed Vintage, Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT. ASOS aims to give all of its customers a truly frictionless experience, with an ever-greater number of different payment methods and hundreds of local deliveries and return options, including Next-Day Delivery and Same-Day Delivery, dispatched from state-of-the-art fulfilment centres in the UK, US and Germany.

Forward looking statements:

This announcement may include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements" (including words such as "believe", "expect", "estimate", "intend", "anticipate" and words of similar meaning). By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty since they relate to future events and circumstances, and actual results may, and often do, differ materially from any forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements in this announcement reflect management's view with respect to future events as at the date of this announcement. Save as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statements in this announcement, whether following any change in its expectations or to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this announcement.

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