Rel­ish­ing an up­hill job on Kathmandu

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

KATHMANDU’s new boss Xavier Si­monet is not let­ting a takeover of­fer dis­tract him as he works to turn around the em­bat­tled ad­ven­ture wear chain.

New Zealand re­tailer Briscoe lobbed a multi- mil­lion- dol­lar takeover bid for Kathmandu just one day af­ter Mr Si­monet ( pic­tured) stepped into the chief ex­ec­u­tive role in June. “It has given me the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cel­er­ate my deep dive into the busi­ness as well my in­ter­ac­tion with the team,” he said. But that’s as far as he’ll go in dis­cussing Briscoe’s bid for con­trol, which Kathmandu’s board is still con­sid­er­ing.

The 45- year- old fa­ther of five is no stranger to turn­ing around strug­gling busi­nesses, hav­ing re­cently done so with UK hand­bag chain Radley. He was re­cruited as chief ex­ec­u­tive in 2013 and less than three years later, Radley’s prof­its had im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly, with ex­pan­sion into Asia play­ing a large role.

The French- born Aus­tralian ap­pears to be plan­ning a sim­i­lar ap­proach for Kathmandu, which he said faces sim­i­lar chal­lenges to Radley. “Of course Europe is a big out­door mar­ket but I would also ar­gue that Asia has huge po­ten­tial for Kathmandu,” he said.

“It’s not too far from here, the re­gion has fast- grow­ing economies and peo­ple are spend­ing much more money than in the past on dis­cre­tionary prod­ucts. Also, there’s a shift to­wards health­ier lifestyles.”

Kathmandu’s for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Halkett re­signed in Novem­ber 2014 amid de­clin­ing sales growth and a profit down­grade.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.