Kathmandu’s chief executive Xavier Simonet is being credited with a profit turnaround by the retailer. Its annual profit has jumped 64 percent to $33.5 million for the year until July 31, up from $20.4 million the year previous. rn
The company also reported a half-year profit of $9.4 million earlier this year in March.
Simonet came to Kathmandu from London-based accessories label Radley in June 2015 and was considered a catalyst for change to turn the retailer’s dwindling profits around.
He had spent barely 24 hours at the helm of Kathmandu before Briscoe Group launched an unsuccessful takeover bid.
Simonet said he was pleased the result had exceeded expectations for the company after a disappointing result last August.
A growth in sales was achieved by new products, better inventory management and monitoring promotional activity better, he said.
“Cost efficiency and improved working capital management have also contributed to a successful FY2016.”
Sales grew in Australia and New Zealand with the help of opening five new stores – four in Australia and one in New Zealand. UK sales declined due to the closure of three stores.
Online sales grew overall by 15 percent, with online sales making up almost seven percent of the company’s total sales.
The retailer also reduced its inventory to $95.4 million from $113.3 million in 2015.
It said this was due to introducing a forecasting and planning system in 2014, which allowed for more accuracy when buying.
As for Kathmandu’s future plans, Simonet said he planned on partnering with key retailers in Europe next year, as well as furthering its connection with its customers on social media.
Marketing efforts Kathmandu had done via videos to position itself as an aspirational brand had already stirred interest from younger customers, he said.
Competitor brand Icebreaker has done extremely well in this area, positioning itself as an experiential brand by telling customers to “live wild” and “take Icebreaker on their adventure”.
Simonet said Kathmandu would continue to refine its promotional calendar.
“We remain committed to offering great, innovative, distinctive and sustainable quality products to our customers and providing a seamless shopping experience whether in-store or online,” he says.
He also mentioned Kathmandu would be looking at expanding into further international markets.