News in brief: Asos says China operation in final testing phase

Online fashion house Asos has said its operation in China is now in its final testing phase and will be launched imminently.

In the e-tailer's full-year trading statement, which showed that retail sales rose 40% to £754 million and profit before tax and exceptional items grew by 23% to £54.7 million, it was announced that the dedicated Chinese-language desktop and mobile site will initially offer around 2,000 locally-relevant own-brand styles.

Asos China will have an in-country multi-disciplinary team, dedicated delivery solutions and payment methods, local language customer care and a domestic distribution partner.

"Initial testing shows that these elements are all functioning effectively and will provide the foundations to maximise the long-term potential of the Chinese market," Asos announced.

International sales accounted for 63% of total group sales in the year to 31 August 2013, and the company says its international focus over the next six months will be in further establishing and growing the Chinese operation and continuing to grow its business in the UK, US, France, Germany, Australia and Russia.

You can read a more detailed analysis of the Asos business in Essential Retail later this week.