Asos repays government for cost of employee furlough scheme

Asos repays support received from government furlough scheme

Online retailer Asos is repaying the money it has received through the government’s job retention scheme (GJRS).

The organisation, which furloughed 1,000 employees in April 2020, saw a 10% growth within the business in June, despite the financial ramifications that the business faced during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in March, where it saw a decrease in sales by 20-25%.

Asos is also foregoing a £1,000 payment per employee under the government’s job retention bonus scheme for bringing back furloughed employees.

In the July 2020 mini-Budget, the government introduced a bonus scheme, rewarding UK businesses with the payment if employees returning to work remain within the business through to the end of January 2021.

The organisation did not make any redundancies or introduced pay cuts during the pandemic.

Nick Beighton, chief executive at Asos, said: “As a result of our expectation that we will deliver a better than initially anticipated full-year performance, we are repaying the support we received from the UK Government furlough scheme.

“This has been a tough time for all businesses, but we have remained focused on doing the right thing for our people and our customers and making sure that we emerge from the current crisis as a stronger and better organisation. I am particularly proud of the resilience, flexibility and creativity the ASOS team and our business partners have shown.

“Our performance in P3 shows that we are delivering against this aim despite the tough economic and social backdrop. We have learnt a lot and adapted quickly, and ASOS finishes the period with improved underlying profitability. While we remain cautious about the consumer impact of Covid-19 looking forward, we are on track to deliver strong year-on-year profit growth and to return to positive free cash flow for the full-year.”