Sunday, October 17

ASOS warns on profit, CEO Beighton steps down

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LONDON — ASOS, the British online fashion retailer, has parted company with Chief Executive Nick Beighton, as it warned that higher logistics costs and supply chain disruption could force 2022 profits to drop by more than 40%.

The company said Beighton, who has been with ASOS for 12 years, including six as CEO, would step down with immediate effect, adding that it wanted new leadership to accelerate international growth.

The group’s shares have fallen 42% this year.

It said a search had started for a successor. In the interim, finance chief Mat Dunn has taken on the additional role of chief operating officer and will lead the business on a day-to-day basis, while Katy Mecklenburgh, currently director of group finance, will become interim chief financial officer.

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Beighton will remain available to the board until the end of 2021 to help with the handover.

ASOS also said that Ian Dyson, ASOS’s senior independent non-executive director, will become chairman on Nov. 29, succeeding Adam Crozier, who is becoming chairman of BT.

Crozier said the management and board had spent time developing a new strategic plan to accelerate international growth.

“Key to that is ensuring that we have the right leadership in place for the next phase,” he said.

The company reported a 36% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit to 193.6 million pounds ($265 million) for the year to end August after seeing “exceptional” demand in its home market.

Analysts at Jefferies said the mid-point of the new adjusted profit guidance for 2022, of 110 million to 140 million pounds, was 35% below the current consensus of 193 million pounds.

“Although many of the headwinds are understandable and, hopefully, transitory, we suspect investors will struggle to put much credibility on the mid-term targets,” they said. ($1 = 0.7315 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle and Kate Holton)

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