Inside the outdoor industry

Kathmandu promises further international growth

Positive results boost confidence in overseas sales

360

Following its latest set of financials, Australasian-based retailer and outdoor brand Kathmandu is eyeing further European growth and says it has enjoyed a positive start to its wholesale relationship with Go Outdoors in the UK.

The firm’s full year results saw same store sales growth in Australia of 6.9 per cent and in New Zealand of 3.6 per cent. It resulted in a 12 per cent increase in earnings before interest and tax. Net profit increased by $4.5m or 13.5% resulting in earnings per share for the year of 18.9 cents.

CEO, Xavier Simonet (right), said at the firm’s AGM: “International is a long term strategy, but sure no one is waiting for us, the best brands are everywhere its how and when and where we find our little sweet spot of opportunity and push hard and grow, also it is about two and half years ago when the business underperformed, we promised the Board and the Shareholders that when looking at newopportunities we would first look at a capital light model where we would test and trial before investing behind initiatives that are showing success and sustainable profitable growth, so yes its about growing international sales, yes its about growth but its more than that about profitable sustainable growth. So we’ve launched international through three channels and our journey started not even a year ago, we only travelling internationally to meet back in December last year, so we have three channels we are now starting with.

“The first month of trading in GoOutdoors has actually been good for us and GoOutdors have confirmed to us that for Europe in Summer 18 they will extend distribution and also extend the product range that they have listed with us in apparel and equipment.”

“The first one is wholesale, so we’ve starting selling our products with two key strategic retailers in Europe. With GoOutdoors the largest outdoor retailer in the UK and in SportsCheck the largest outdoor retailer in Germany. It’s a trial, it doesn’t mean were going to succeed but we’re hoping that with the point of distinctiveness and some of our distinctive products we’ve got the opportunity to go further and make a difference.

“The first month of trading in GoOutdoors has actually been good for us and GoOutdoors have confirmed to us that for Europe in Summer 18 they will extend distribution and also extend the product range that they have listed with us in apparel and equipment. As far as SportsCheck is concerned, they have also confirmed that for Summer 18, they would widen the distribution to more stores with all their keys stores as part of our distribution.

“The wholesale is a key channel for us and actually most outdoor brands generate a lot of their international sales through this channel and we are going to continue having discussions with other potential retailers to get them onboard and grow the business. The second channel we’ve launched is our global website which is responsive so connects content and commerce, you can transact online but at the same time you can get a lot of information about our products.

The firm is also expanding into the Chinese market, launching on online shop TMall Global

Simonet explained: “We’ve got good traction with Chinese customers in Australia and New Zealand whether they’re local Chinese living in Australia or New Zealand, or tourists and we thought within our capital light approach launching with TMall would be a great opportunity for us to sell in China but also we get exposure there.”