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Kathmandu lifts 1H profit by as much as 75% on Aust sales

Kathmandu lifts 1H profit by as much as 75% on Australian sales growth

Feb. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment retail chain, boosted first-half profit by as much as 75 percent on the strength of sales across the Tasman.

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

"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 said.

The company didn’t 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," Halkett said.

The shares rose 0.9 percent to $2.23, having rallied 10 percent this year. The stock is rated an average 'outperform' based on 10 analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $1.855.

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 expected to open a further 15 in the second half.

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


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