OSLO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Norwegian sports retailer XXL reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter core operating earnings on Wednesday and said sales in January surged as cold weather and snowfall triggered demand.
Operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 332 million Norwegian crowns ($42.31 million) in the Oct-Dec quarter from 286 million a year earlier, beating a forecast of 324 million in a Reuters poll.
January revenues grew 26.2 percent year-on-year to 756 million crowns, partly due to new store openings in the last year and partly from rising demand, XXL said.
“The month had good winter conditions with snow and cold in most regions in Norway, in northern parts of Sweden and Finland. The rest of the regions also experienced more cold than at the same time last year,” it added.
The company will pay dividends of 2 Norwegian crowns per share for 2017, in line with forecasts, and maintained plans to open between seven and ten new stores during 2018. ($1 = 7.8462 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Camilla Knudsen)