27 Aug 2015

Kathmandu plans to cut head office staff

11:06 am on 27 August 2015

Outdoor gear retailer Kathmandu has revealed it is planning to axe up to a tenth of its head office workforce.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The company - which is currently battling a takeover offer from Briscoes - said it will review its head office structure following a sharp fall in profitability.

Kathmandu has about 250 staff at its New Zealand and Australia head offices.

Xavier Simonet - the retailer's recently appointed chief executive, Xavier Simonet, says the company is - said it was taking decisive action to address poor sales and profit, and he was looking at all areas of the business.

"I am confident the outcome of the review will enable us to continue to invest in our growth strategies and deliver improved results for our shareholders."

The review, which will be completed by the end of September, comes as the company battles a takeover offer from Briscoe Group, which it has called opportunistic.

Briscoe is offering 20 cents a share in cash, plus five Briscoe shares for every nine Kathmandu shares held - worth about $1.80 a share

That was about a third less than an appraisal report which valued Kathmandu between $2.10 and $2.41 share.

Kathmandu chairman David Kirk said Briscoe had taken advantage of a weak trading period to make a low offer, and the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer's prospects were looking up.

Kathmandu's share price rose 15 cents, or 10 percent, to close at $1.70 each.

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