By Aimee Chanthadavong

Kathmandu has experienced a slight increase in group sales for the first trading quarter of the 2014 financial year.

It achieved group sales of NZD$70.9 million for the 16 weeks to 17 November 2013, a 0.9 per cent increase when compared with the corresponding period last year. Same store sales grew by 3.8 per cent during the same period. While sale store sales growth was over 3 per cent in both Australia and New Zealand.

“Despite difficult retail trading conditions, our sales performance in the first 16 weeks of the financial year was approximately in line with expectations,” Kathmandu's CEO Peter Halkett said at the company’s annual general meeting.

“Consistent with our normal trading pattern, sales to date are less than 20 per cent of our expected total sales for the year. Our first half-year profit result remains highly dependent on the Christmas and January trading period."

Halkett also provided an update on the Company's progress of its store rollout and refurbishment programme.

"Since 1 August we have opened two new stores in Australia (Melbourne and Adelaide), and one in New Zealand (Auckland). We also have two further stores (Melbourne and Brisbane) which will be open for trading before Christmas. Our Bondi store refurbishment has been completed and Petone (Wellington) is also undergoing a major refurbishment".

Halkett confirmed Kathmandu is still aiming to open 15 new stores in FY14 with three new sites already secured for opening in the second half of FY14.

Kathmandu’s chairman John Harvey also announced the appointment of chairman of Trade Me Group David Kirk as non-executive independent director of the board.

"His appointment will further enhance the skillset of the Board as it seeks to establish Kathmandu as a significant global presence in the outdoor travel and adventure market" Harvey said.