It was the acquisition of Rip Curl that helped Kathmandu Holdings to raise its total sales by 48.7 percent to 801.5 million New Zealand dollars in the “transformational” financial year ended on July 30, with the action sports brand contributing sales of NZ$ 315.7 million (€178.2m-$210.6m) in the first nine months under the group’s ownership. Over the 12-month period, outdoor brand Kathmandu contributed sales of NZ$ 426.4 million (€240.7m-$284.5m), and outdoor footwear brand Oboz NZ$ 59.4 million (€33.5m-$39.6m).

According to its annual report, Rip Curl also boosted the group’s turnover in Europe to NZ$ 25.6 million (€14.4m-$17.1m) from just NZ 3.5 million, and more than doubled it in North America to NZ$ 131.3 million (€74.1m-$87.6m). The two regions represented 23 percent and 16 percent of the brand’s sales during the period, respectively, generating 21 percent and 15 percent of its gross margin in the last 12 months.

However, a negative impact on revenues of around NZ 135 million (€76.2m-$90.1m) from Covid-19 led the group to book comprehensive net income of only NZ$ 9,930,000 (€5,604,537-$6,625,627) for the year, down from NZ$ 27.9 million the year before. Underlying Ebitda declined by 15.3 percent to NZ$ 83.4 million (€47.1m-$55.7m).

To help offset the pandemic, the group boosted its online sale activities, which rose by 63 percent to NZ$ 106.4 million (€60.1m-$71.0m), representing 15.7 percent of direct-to-consumer sales and contributing to the the overall profitability. Kathmandu employed Uber to deliver products within the same day to confined customers in Sydney and Melbourne. More details are avaialable in SGI Europe.

Kathmandu Holdings also published its first combined sustainability report since acquiring Rip Curl in 2019, highlighting the positive impact of all three brands across the spectrum of ethical and sustainable practices.

Highlights of the report include Kathmandu’s Rainbow Tick certification in New Zealand for promoting diversity and inclusion, the increase in the proportion of women at Oboz to 41 percent in the Oboz team, and Rip Curl’s B+ rating in the Ethical Fashion Report, which has been sustained for the past two years.

Kathmandu has recycled 30 million plastic bottles and saved 40 million bottles of fresh water through its Repreve product range by switching to solution-dyed fabrics. Oboz has planted 3.3 million trees since it was founded, and the shoe brand has also introduced ranges that include recycled materials and insoles with algae flowers. For the first time in its 51-year history, Rip Curl, the newest company in Kathmandu Holdings’ portfolio, is disclosing its sustainability figures.

Xavier Simonet, the group’s chief executive, said that the priority for the company is to extend its ethical certifications to the entire company. “As our family of companies grows, we have new opportunities and new challenges. The challenge in the coming years will be to extend our B Corp certification and Fair Labor Organization accreditation to the entire Group.”