KATHMANDU SCALES THE HEIGHTS IN A STRUGGLING RETAIL ENVIRONMENT

KATHMANDU SCALES THE HEIGHTS IN A STRUGGLING RETAIL ENVIRONMENT

IN a struggling retail environment, Kathmandu (ASX: KMD) has reported a rise in net profit after tax of 13.5 per cent to NZ$38 million (AUD$34.7 million).

The adventure clothing retailer released its FY17 results for year ending 31 July 2017 which revealed its profit rose NZ$4.5 million compared to the prior year.

Kathmandu's results defied the recent trend where retailers have been hit hard by weak consumer spending and senitment.

In August, the Gold Coast-based e-tailer Surfstitch fell from grace and went into voluntary administration while the department store giant Myer's statutory net profit was just $11.9 million, a fall of 80 per cent from the previous year.

It was Myer's worst profit result since it listed in 2009 as writeoffs and impairments hit the company's bottom line.after a $20 million investment in Topshop went sour and flagship brand Sass & Bide struggled to sell.

Kathmandu, which specialises in outdoor wear and camping gear, generated earnings of NZ$57 million, up from NZ$50.9 million in the previous year.

A final dividend of NZ 9.0 cents per share will be paid, bringing the full year payout to a record NZ 13.0 cents per share.

CEO of Kathmandu Xavier Simonet (pictured) says product innovation drove the success of the retailer for FY17.

"We are pleased to achieve strong same store sales growth driven by innovative new products and inspiring digital content," says Simonet.

"In addition to top line growth, continued cost control and working capital efficienct delivered very strong profit growth."

Operating expenses decreased by 1.3% compared to FY16, achieved through targeted promotional spend, retail labour productivity improvements, and lower support office costs.

Simonet says the company's outlook is focused on growing through FY18.

"We have now delivered two successive years of strong profit growth and four successive quarters of same store sales growth," says Simonet.

"As a product and brand led business, we are focused on engaging our customers by creating distinctive, sustainable, quality products and by promoting our brand authenticity."

Kathmandu shares have risen sharply following the company's announcement and are trading up 6.9 per cent to $2.09 at around 11.30am (AEST).

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