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Kathmandu lifts profit by up to 75% on Aust sales growth

Outdoor equipment retail chain Kathmandu boosted first-half profit by as much as 75 percent on the strength of sales across the Tasman. The shares climbed to a 13-month high.

Net profit was between $9.5 million and $10.5 million in the six months ended January 27, compared to $6 million a year earlier, the retailer says in a statement. That came from a 13 percent increase in sales to $165.8 million and was in line with management's expectations.

"Our sales in Australia have continued to grow at a faster rate than New Zealand, which reflects the continuing strengthening of the Kathmandu brand and market penetration in Australia," chief executive Peter Halkett says.

The shares rose 4.1 percent to $2.30, leading gainers on the top 50 index. The stock is rated an average 'outperform' based on 10 analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $1.855.

The company did not provide annual guidance, saying 60 percent of sales and at least 70 percent of earnings will come in the second half of the year. It has previously said it expected to beat its 2012 result.

"Given this trading pattern and the volatile nature of the retail trading environment, we remain cautious about our full-year result," Mr Halkett says.

Kathmandu boosted first-quarter revenue almost 20 percent, indicating the pace of sales growth slowed in the second three-month period, which encompassed the Christmas trading period.

The retailer opened nine stores in the current financial year and expects to open a further six in the second half.

The first-half result will be released on March 26.

(BusinessDesk)

Comments and questions
1

Well at least they are 10% up on the initial IPO of $2.12 in 2009?