Outdoor apparel and equipment company, KMD Brands, has reported a decline in group sales for the first four months of the 2024 financial year.

Group sales were down 12.5% compared to the same period last year, which the company attributed to ongoing weakness in consumer sentiment.

However, the group's gross margin improved, thanks to well-controlled operating costs.

KMD Brands' subsidiary, Kathmandu, experienced weakness in the rainwear and insulation categories in Australia, with total sales down 21.6%.

On the other hand, Rip Curl and Oboz, which had record sales years in the previous financial year, delivered good results in direct-to-consumer sales but saw a decline in wholesale sales.

Rip Curl's total sales for the first four months of the financial year were down 5.7%, while Oboz's sales were down 18.2%.

KMD Brands' underlying EBITDA for the period was approximately $16 million below last year.

The company's focus remains on improving Kathmandu's sales performance and optimising gross margin, controlling operating costs, and reducing working capital for all of its brands.

Group working capital decreased by 10.2% year-on-year.

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