19 Mar 2010

Kathmandu announces $4.4m profit

11:44 am on 19 March 2010

Strong sales have boosted profits at newly listed outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Kathmandu.

The company made $4.4 million in the six months to the end of January, a turnaround from the $2.4 million loss it reported at the same time last year.

Kathmandu listed on the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges in November after its private equity owners, Goldman Sachs JB Were and Quadrant Private Equity, sold the business.

Total sales jumped a quarter to $106.6 million, which the company says is due to improved consumer spending, a boost from Christmas promotions, opening new stores and cutting costs.

A key indicator, sales at stores open at least a year, rose 14.1% in in New Zealand and 9.9% in Australia.

However, Kathmandu says the $21.3 million cost associated with its share float was about $6 million more than expected.

The retailer says the first half of the year provides a relatively low proportion of earnings, and it's confident it will meet its $30.9 million profit forecast.

If that is achieved, Kathmandu plans to pay a dividend of 6.7 cents.