Asos poised to steal retail crown from M&S in ‘seminal moment’ for the industry

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Asos could soon overtake high street giant Marks & Spencer in market value, in what is being described as a “seminal moment” for UK retail.

City analysts believe that the online fashion retailer’s value is the closest to M&S as it has ever been and said it’s only a matter of time before Asos overtakes M&S.

M&S, which has had a presence on the high street for 113 years, has a market value of £5.8bn, compared with 17-year old Asos’s £4.98bn.

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“The valuation gap between the two businesses is the smallest it has ever been and we believe that it will not be long before Asos has a greater market value than M&S,” Mark Photiades, retail analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, told The Times.

“It will be a seminal moment.”

In May, M&S reported that its annual profits fell by almost 64% thanks to restructuring costs and a fall in sales in its clothing arm, which also includes lingerie and swimwear.

In the 52 weeks to April 1, the retailer posted pre-tax profits of £176.4 million, down from £488.8 million last year.

Sales in the retailer’s clothing business dropped 5.9% in the three months to April.

Last year, Asos made £42.8 million profit on £1.44 billion sales.

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