It appears the cool weather has not stopped consumers from getting outdoors as adventurewear retailer Kathmandu reports a profit upgrade.

The company expects that earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to be between NZ$63 million and NZ$65 million, compared to $47.9 million for the previous year. This will be a 31 per cent to 36 per cent increase.

“We anticipate the Kathmandu result will be against the general trend for the retail sector this reporting season. It is clear that market conditions throughout this year have been particularly difficult for retailers dependent on discretionary consumer spend, particularly in the apparel category,” Chairman James Strong said.

Kathmandu’s consolidated sales for the year 31 July 2011 were NZ$306 million. This was an increase of NZ$60.2 million, up 24.5 per cent on the previous year. Same store sales increased by 15.7 per cent on the previous year.

By country, Australia’s sales’ were A$143.4 million, up Z$29.9 million from 26.3 per cent while New Zealand’s store sales were NZ$111.3 million, up NZ$17 million from 18 per cent. However, the United Kingdom saw a 6.7 per cent drop to £3.9 million.

According to the company, its increased investment in inventory, favourable weather patterns for the Easter and Winter promotional periods and better than expected results from new store openings helped leverage the sale increase.

CEO Peter Halkett said that the result for the year had to be considered a good outcome given the very uncertain economic environment and the impact this has had on discretionary spending by consumers over the second half of the financial year, particularly Australia.

“Our key strategies of new store rollout, upgrading of existing stores and ongoing growth in our product range have all delivered increased sales,” he said. “However we also have to acknowledge that autumn and winter weather was overall a positive for us, and we also believe the strong A$ and NZ$ has encouraged growth in travel overseas, which has a flow on benefit of us.”

Full year audited results to be released on Wednesday 21 September.