Asos issues profit warning as it ends hunt for chief

Asos has issued another profit warning, with the online fashion retailer blaming rising inflation for a growing rate of product returns, as it announced an end to its eight-month search for a new chief executive.

The UK group has promoted José Antonio Ramos Calamonte, currently chief commercial officer, to the top job. Meanwhile Jørgen Lindemann, appointed as a non-executive director last November, will succeed Ian Dyson as chair.

Asos said it expected adjusted pre-tax profit to be between £20mn and £60mn, a substantial reduction from its previous guidance of £110mn to £140mn before adjusting for the impact of withdrawing from the Russian market. It said this reflected “uncertain consumer purchasing behaviour”.

The latest alert follows a warning in October last year, which led to the departure of former chief executive Nick Beighton. Mat Dunn, formerly chief financial officer, has run the company as chief operating officer since then but had indicated that he did not want the top job.

Rival Boohoo, which also issued a trading update on Thursday, was more upbeat. It flagged normalising return rates and said that although sales in the three months to the end of May were down 8 per cent on the same period a year earlier, they were still 75 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

However, it did not alter its previous guidance for sales growth in the low single digits and underlying profit margins of 4-7 per cent. It expects an improvement in sales growth over the second half of the year as comparisons with the previous year become easier.

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