Kathmandu has had a surprisingly successful first quarter after it announced sales earned for the period was $66.9 million – a rise of 19.5 per cent from the corresponding period last year.

The company also reported same store sales grew 14.3 per cent during the period compared to 7.6 per cent growth last year during the prior corresponding period.

Company CEO Peter Halkett said trading has so far exceeded expectations.

“Despite the difficult retail trading conditions, our sales performance in the first 15 weeks of the financial year has overall been ahead of our expectations, particularly in Australia,” he said.

“Consistent with our normal trading platform, sales to dates are less than 20 per cent of our expected total sales of the year. Growth in the first half-year profit remains highly dependant on the Christmas and January trading period.”

Halkett also provided an update on the company’s store rollout and refurbishment programme where they aim to open 15 new stores in 2013 financial year.

“Since 1 August we have opened six new stores in Australia – two in regional NSW, one in Brisbane, one in Gold Coast, one in Melbourne and one in Perth,” he said.

“We also have three further stores (Sydney CBD, Darwin and Mackay) which will be open for trading before Christmas. Our central Perth and Nelson store relocations have been completed and two of our Melbourne stores have been refurbished.

Three further new sites have already been secured for opening in the second half of the financial year 2013.