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KMD Brands reports strong sales growth

Kathmandu and Rip Curl owner KMD Brands says that first-quarter sales were up 17.5 per cent compared to three years ago, before COVID-19 struck.

Sales for the September quarter were up 61.8 per cent from what they were last year, when many parts of Australia were in lockdown.

Underlying operating profit has improved by nearly $30 million year-on-year the retailer said on Wednesday, as shareholders gathered in Sydney for its annual general meeting.

Same-store, direct-to-consumer sales have been up 107.2 per cent at Kathmandu and 29.7 per cent at Rip Curl for the 14 weeks to November 6.

Its Oboz hiking boots brand, which is centred on the US market, is no longer impacted by supply issues that occurred when its Vietnam factories had to shut down because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Oboz achieved record wholesale and online sales and has a forward order book supporting further growth, the company said.

"While current trading for our three brands is strong, we remain cautiously optimistic," group chief executive and managing director Michael Daly said.

There's the potential for high inflation and rising interest rates to impact consumer sentiment in key global markets, he said.

As always, KMD Brands' first-half results remain dependent on the key Black Friday and Christmas trading periods still to come, Mr Daly said.