Outdoor clothing retailer Kathmandu said it achieved total group sales ahead of management expectations mid-January, with positive year-on-year same store sales growth in Australia and New Zealand.

The announcement comes as part of Kathmandu’s market update, as the New Zealand-based company’s head office, distribution centre and retail stores were affected by the Christchurch earthquakes on 22 February.

According to Kathmandu, its head office has been inspected with all services to the building restored and it is now able to be occupied.

However, its New Zealand distribution centre requires remedial work before staff is able to return to work but expects full operation by the end of the week.

Its store in Tower Junction has re-opened but its stores in Riccarton and in central city were both damaged and remain closed.

Kathmandu CEO Peter Halkett said he anticipated the central city store will remain closed for an extended period.

“Given the scale of damage to the area, and the comments to date from public authorities dealing with the recovery operation, unfortunately we are planning for a period of months rather than weeks before we can operate from out central city store,” he said.

“We have been unable to have our Cashel Street and Riccarton stores inspected so far, and we can’t therefore comment specifically on the degrees of damage they have sustained.”