Asos CEO steps down with immediate effect

UK online fashion retail giant Asos’ CEO Nick Beighton has stepped down as the company warned that its profits are set to drop by as much as 40% in 2020 by comparison to 2021.

Beighton has been in post for 12 years and oversaw the explosive growth of the online giant, which benefitted from the pandemic e-commerce boom and the fact that its returns levels were far lower during the period, creating unusual profitability that cannot be matched as the market normalises.

The outgoing CEO steps down with immediate effect, though will remain available to the company until the end of the year. Chief Financial Officer Matt Dunn is to take on the role while a new cEO is found for the company. Group finance director Katy Mecklenburgh is to be interim CFO.

“I have enjoyed every moment of my 12 years at Asos,” said Beighton.

“When I joined, there were fewer than 200 people and we had annual sales of around £220 million.

“I leave a business reporting turnover of almost £4 billion, with more than 3000 fantastic Asos-ers delivering for 26 million customers in 200 markets around the world.

“I am particularly proud of the way in which we have led our industry on putting sustainability at the heart of everything we do with our Fashion with Integrity programme.”

With regards the financial results, profit before tax was up 36% to £193.6 million on revenues of £3.91 billion – up 22% on 2020.

The growth was driven by demand from the UK and US markets which saw sales grow by 36% and 21% respectively. It now plans to double its US and European businesses and to launch a partner fulfilment programme.

Dunn said: “Asos has delivered another strong performance, with continued growth in customer numbers driving further increases in sales and profits.

“Our success has been underpinned by our focus on delighting fashion-loving 20-something customers with greater choice, service, and engagement.

“We have also continued to invest in our platform and offer, including the successful acquisition and integration of the Topshop brands.”

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