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RipCurl balances out struggling Kathmandu in first quarter

Outdoor fashion group Kathmandu has seen group sales for the first quarter of FY21 72 per cent above last year, benefiting from the addition of RipCurl to its staple of brands.

The surfwear brand, which was acquired in October 2019, largely offset the negative impact felt by Kathmandu. RipCurl’s same store sales rose 26.8 per cent for the period, while Kathmandu fell 26.8 per cent due to falling CBD foot traffic and the impact of Melbourne’s and Auckland’s respective lockdowns.

The result shows the strengths of a newly diversified group, said Kathmandu Group CEO Xavier Simonet.

“We’re realising the benefit… with strong performance in summer weighted product categories for RipCurl in all key geographies following successful winter trading for Kathmandu,” Simonet said.

“The group continues to maintain a strong balance sheet and liquidity position, allowing it to respond to current trading conditions and pursue attractive growth opportunities that may arise.”

RipCurl saw strong sales in its key markets of Australia, Europe and North America, while Kathmandu enjoyed strong sales in camping and footwear – though not enough to offset falling travel related purchasing.

Footwear brand Oboz was also strong, according to Simonet, with forward ordering tracking above pre-Covid levels.

However, Simonet was quick to add that Kathmandu Group’s half year result will be highly dependent on the all-important holiday period, and that dividend payments may resume depending on the next few months’ market conditions.

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