BARNSLEY-BASED online retail giant ASOS had a very merry Christmas and has reported a massive 38 per cent hike in sales.

The company ran up retail revenues of £335.7m in the four months to December 31, with analysts expecting the firm to smash through its £1bn turnover target by the end of August.

Over the past year the share value of the company has almost trebled, making it now worth £5.8bn - just £2bn less than high street stalwart Marks and Spencer.

ASOS has already expanded its huge Grimethorpe warehouse by 25 per cent to meet growing demand.

Originally the aim was to reach the £1bn sales target by 2015 - but that's now expected to happen much sooner.

ASOS saw the number of active customers grow to 7.9 million at the end of 2013 - up 41 per cent year-on-year.

It's been the big success story in British retailing in recent years, with its fast-changing being fashions snapped up. 

Nick Robertson, chief executive of ASOS, said: "We have enjoyed another strong Christmas and made a good start to the financial year."

ASOS, which stands for ''As Seen On Screen', said the first week in December was its strongest as shoppers stocked up on party dresses for the festive season.

Oversized coats and Christmas jumpers were other best sellers.

The firm said it benefited from recent efforts to improve its service, having introduced free delivery and returns and an extended 9pm cut off for next day delivery in the UK.

It now employs 3,200 people.