StockMarketWire.com - Online fashion retailer Asos on Monday reduced its full-year expectations even as fiscal first-quarter sales grew 14% as a significant fall in sales and margin during the important trading month of November hurt performance.

'Whilst trading in September and October was broadly in line with our expectations, November, a very material month for us from both a sales and cash margin perspective, was significantly behind expectations,' the company said.

For the current financial year to August 2019, sales growth was cut to about 15% from a range of 20% to 25% previously, retail gross margin was expected to decline by 150 basis points from 49.9% previously, and earnings (EBIT) margin was expected close to 2% to from 4% previously.

Total sales grew at 14% on a reported basis and 13% on a constant currency basis during the fiscal first quarter, and retail gross margin fell 160 basis points as average selling prices fell 6%.

In the UK, sales growth was 19% year-to-date , though margins were hurt by more promotional activity than initially planned as consumer confidence was increasingly fragile, the company said.

EU, sales growth across this segment was 18% year-to-date, but trading conditions across our two largest markets of Germany and France, which account for about 60% of EU sales, had become 'significantly more challenging,' the company said.

Sales growth in the US of 13% year-to-date was in-line with expectations.

'We achieved 14% sales growth in a difficult market, but in the light of a significant downturn in November, we think it's prudent to recalibrate our expectations for the full year. We are taking all appropriate actions and our ambitions for ASOS have not changed,' said Nick Beighton, CEO. At 8:00am: [LON:ASC] ASOS Plc share price was -1236p at 2950p



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