WELLINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) - New Zealand and Australian clothing and outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu Ltd reported a slide in first half profit on Wednesday due to lower margins.
Kathmandu posted a net profit of NZ$6.0 million ($4.91 million) for the six months to Jan. 31, compared with NZ$10.5 million last year.
The company said sales rose 15.4 percent to NZ$146.7 million, but these were achieved at lower margins while costs rose.
The company saw risks to improving its performance in the second half, including sluggish consumer sentiment and unseasonal weather.
"Given the difficult current market conditions, we do not believe it is possible to provide specific guidance," said Peter Halkett, Chief Executive Officer of Kathmandu Holdings Limited.
Its shares, which have risen nearly 9 percent so far this year, closed on Tuesday at NZ$1.465. It said it would pay an interim dividend of 3 cents a share, unchanged from last year.
Founded by mountaineer Jan Cameron in New Zealand in 1987, Kathmandu listed in November 2009, after a $314 million share float. It has more than 110 stores in Australia, New Zealand and Britain selling a wide range of outdoor equipment from tents to clothing and backpacks. ($1 = 1.2232 New Zealand dollars) (Gyles Beckford)