British online fashion retailer ASOS is forecasting full-year sales and profit significantly ahead of market expectations.

The company said it was benefiting from stronger than anticipated demand and less products being returned by shoppers.

Shares in ASOS were up 8.5% on Wednesday, extending gains in 2020 to 36% after it said revenue growth for its 2019-20 year was now expected to be between 17% and 19%.

It forecast pretax profit in the region of 130 million pounds to 150 million pounds, up from 33.1 million in 2018-19.

ASOS said it expected to see return levels normalise once lockdown measures eased and customers were able to ship returns and felt more comfortable doing so.

However, it said returns were not increasing at the rate it had anticipated.

It said this reflected robust demand for "lockdown" categories, such as activewear, and a prolonged shift in customer behaviour towards more intentional purchasing across all ranges.

German online fashion retailer Zalando said on Tuesday it had also benefitted from a decline in returns, though it assumes the fall will be temporary.

"Looking forward, the consumer and economic outlook remains uncertain and it is unclear how long the current favourable shopping behaviour will persist," ASOS said.