ASOS and Hotel Chocolat interim reports – Commentary

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ASOS and Hotel Chocolat interim reports – Commentary
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A commentary from Nicky Stewart, the Director of Institutional Marketing at Edison Group with 25 years of equities experience, on the main takeaways from Asos’ and Hotel Chocolat’s interim reports.

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“ASOS (ASC LN/£2.9bn/3,348p +10.7%) has had an encouraging start to the year with retail sales for the first four months to December up 20% to £1,075m (Q119: £895m). Total group revenue was £1,106m, 19% ahead of consensus at £930m. Growth was strong across all regions, reflecting a record Black Friday and strong customer engagement activity throughout the period. Gross margin, however, was down 170bps due to US duty and investment in customer acquisition as planned. Management has stated plans and outlook for the year remain unchanged as focus continues to be on the actions required to support long-term growth and the retention of customers recently acquired.

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Asos and Hotel Chocolat

“Hotel Chocolat (HOTC LN/£494m/432p +1%) announced that total group revenue increased by 14% for the 26 week period ended 29 December. The group opened nine new locations in the UK, ending with 125 locations, as well as 2 new locations in the US and three new joint-venture locations in Japan. Angus Thirwell, CEO, commented on the launch of Nutmilk in the period, stating; “We also launched Nutmilk, our outrageously creamy new ‘milk’ chocolate which just happens to be 100% vegan. It’s been five years in the making and is an immediate hit.” 2020 will see the group accelerate its supply-chain transformation and will focus on rebalancing from being a UK-based company operating from owned channels, to one more suitable for multi-channel multi-territory international supply.”

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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