Kathmandu back in black

Kathmandu 2Outdoor clothing retailer, Kathmandu, has reported a half-year net profit increase of NZ$9.4 million ($A8.38 million), bouncing back from the NZ $1.8 million loss it made in the previous corresponding period.

The company reported earnings before interest and tax of NZ$15.1 million for the six months ending January 31, an increase of NZ$14.5 million compared to the same period last year. Its net profit after tax of NZ$9.4 million was an increase of NZ$11.2 million over the prior corresponding period.

Chief executive Xavier Simonet stated the first half results were in line with expectations.

“Operating margin improvement was achieved as a result of increased full price sell through combined with implementing planned cost efficiencies,” said Simonet.

Kathmandu, which fended off a takeover bid from Briscoe last year, reported same store sales growth in all markets. It rose to 4.3 per cent in Australia and 3.1 per cent in New Zealand.

The retailer’s online sales rose 23 per cent in all countries and now account for 6.6 per cent of total sales.

Simonet reaffirmed the company’s guidance for full-year net profit of NZ$30.2 million.

He said, however, the final result will depend on trading in the six months ending July 31.

“While it is good to be on track with our plan for the first half, as in every year, the full year result is highly dependent on the sales and margin achievement in our Easter and Winter campaigns. We have just commenced our Easter Sale so it is too early to provide an update on this promotion,” Simonet said.

He added they are excited about Kathmandu’s opportunities to expand into international markets. “Our profitable Australasian business is providing the foundation for this.”

Kathmandu opened four new stores in the first half of 2016, three in Australia, and one in New Zealand.

“Sustainable growth requires continued cost efficiencies and leveraging existing investments and this will remain a strong focus for management in FY2016 and beyond.” Simonet said.

An interim dividend of NZ3.0 cents per share will be paid to shareholders on June 3. The dividend will be unfranked for Australian shareholders and fully imputed for New Zealand shareholders.

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