- Fast fashion retailer Asos lifted its guidance on annual profit after performance in the four months through 31 December topped its expectations amid stronger-than-anticipated demand.

The company now expected fiscal pre-tax profit to be at the top end of range of current market expectations of £115 million to £170 million.

Sales were up 23% in the period, with the active customer base increasing 1.1 million to 24.5 million.

'Overall demand in the market, whilst suppressed, remained more resilient than our initial expectations,' the company said.

Performance also benefited from the resumption of lower returns rates driven by renewed social restrictions in the period.

'With restrictions likely to be in place for the balance of the first half we expect a net COVID PBT [pre-tax profit] benefit of at least £40m in H1,' the company said.

The outlook for the balance of the year remained unchanged, however, given 'the ongoing virus and the likely economic impact on our core 20-something consumer,' it added.

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