© Reuters. A model walks on an in-house catwalk at the ASOS headquarters in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Online fashion retailer ASOS (L:) narrowly beat forecasts with a 28 percent rise in 2017-18 profit, maintained guidance for its new financial year and said its potential was “huge”.

ASOS, which sells fashion aimed at twentysomethings, made a pretax profit of 102 million pounds in the year to August 31 – just ahead of analysts’ average forecast of 101 million pounds and 80 million pounds made in 2016-17.

Retail sales rose 26 percent to 2.36 billion pounds, in line with guidance issued in July, with growth of 23 percent in the UK and 27 percent overseas. Active customers increased 19 percent.

ASOS forecast sales growth of 20-25 percent for the 2018-19 year and said it expected to grow at that rate for the medium term, with annual capital expenditure of 230-250 million pounds.

“ASOS is moving fast and is as differentiated as ever. The potential for our business is huge,” said Chief Executive Nick Beighton.

Listed on London’s junior AIM market, ASOS shares have fallen 26 percent so far this year. They fell sharply in July after the firm missed analysts’ forecasts for sales growth in the four months to June 30.

It said it had reined in marketing efforts as it focused on ramping up warehouse space in Germany and the United States.

The stock closed Tuesday at 5,000 pence, valuing the business at 4.2 billion pounds.

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