In a difficult trading environment Kathmandu has managed to achieved a sales and profit increase both in-store and online.

The retailer has posted a 13.1 per cent increase in sales to NZ$165.9 million, EBIT up 24.4 per cent to NZ$15.8 million and NPAT up up NZ$4.3 million to NZ$10.3 million. In the first half year of FY13 same store sales growth was 3.7 per cent.

“There was strong sales growth over the period; underpinned by successful new store openings and a solid increase in same store sales, despite a challenging market overall,” Kathmandu chief executive officer Peter Halkett said.

Australia continues to be the company’s strongest market with sales for the first half the year in the region increasing by 21.5 per cent, outperforming New Zealand which earned a 7.9 per cent increase. Similarly same store growth in Australia was 9.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent in New Zealand. Kathmandu attributes its strength in Australia to improving brand penetration and the performance of new stores opened during the year.

The company opened nine new stores in the period, all in Australia, and relocated three stores.

Online sales also grew by over 50 per cent on the same period last year continued to be an important portion of this increase, but it still represents less than 5 per cent of total sales.

“Along with continued growth in online sales, the new stores we opened in a variety of locations and formats have generally met or exceeded our sales expectations,” Halkett said.

However the key external risks to delivering an improvement in second half year performance is being affected by the the success of two major promotional events in the second half of the year, particularly if either or both are impacted by unseasonal weather; and the general economic environment which appears to remain volatile and has been highlighted until recently by generally low levels of consumer confidence.

“Sales through February and March have been impacted by the hot and generally dry weather in both Australia and New Zealand. However, as we only just commenced our Easter sale, which is the second of our three largest promotional events each year, it is still too early to assess with reasonably certainty the overall result for the full year,” Halkett said.