Asos CEO Nick Beighton departs: What analysts have to say

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sos has revealed that 53-year-old Nick Beaton, who has headed the online fashion retailer for six years, is stepping down from the role.

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The news of his departure came with the company publishing an update that showed a jump in sales during the pandemic, but now there are headwinds that could hit growth in the current financial year till August 2022.

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Matt Dunn, Asos’ Head of Finance and Chief Operating Officer, said: “Looking ahead, while our performance over the next 12 months is likely to be hampered by demand volatility and global supply chain and cost pressures, we are looking forward to our ability to capture I am confident. Big opportunities ahead.”

A host of commentators share their thoughts on the latest management changes and outlook.

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Andrew Wade, equity analyst at Jefferies, said: “The fall in FY22 was clearly well anticipated, but we suspect this -35% cut is bigger than most imagined. While many adverse conditions are understandable and, hopefully, temporary, we suspect investors will struggle to establish greater credibility on MT targets.”

Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdowne, said: “Supply chain problems are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, which is some explanation as to why next year’s sales outlook is so disappointing.”

Lund-Yates said: “Asos is a huge player in the online shopping world, but the pandemic has prompted a lot of its bricks-and-mortar rivals to roll out digital offerings of their own, so as to maintain growing market share.” It will need to work hard. This bump in the road comes when there is a change in leadership at the top, adding a layer of strategic risk.”

Independent retail analyst Nick Babb said: “Following the recent shocks from Boohoo, AO and In the Style etc., and share price pressures on THG, Made.com and Moonpig, etc., online retailer shareholders will be upset to hear that ASOS continues the adage. The cat among the pigeons with the shock news that Beeton is going down.

Market.com’s Neil Wilson said: “Asos shares fell this morning as Beaton stepped down and the company warned of continuing supply chain problems. Revenue also missed expectations, but undoubtedly Beaton’s departure, Which has led the company through an incredible period of growth, is a contributing factor. A huge loss for the company.”

Chloe Collins, Head of Apparel at GlobalData, said: “Asos only expects to achieve mid-single digit sales growth in H1 FY2021/22, as global supply chain issues continue to wreak havoc with stock availability in the retail industry . While Asos will be protected to some extent by its alternatives and third-party brands, longer lead times will be inevitable, especially in the EU.

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