Orange County Business Journal

Billabong Full-Year Loss Widens

Kari Hamanaka Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A year has passed since Billabong International Ltd. announced its turnaround strategy, but results for the year ended June 30 show worsening business conditions.

Billabong International, the parent of Irvine-based Billabong USA and several local action-sports apparel and accessories companies, posted a net loss for the year of $776.04 million. That’s widened from a loss of $248.84 million in the year-ago period.

Adjusted companywide sales fell 5.9% in constant currency to $1.21 billion.

Investors sent the company's shares down about 11% on Tuesday in Australia where it’s traded on the Australian Securities Exchange to a market value of $224.88 million

Billabong also operates a retail business, which had 562 stores at the end of its fiscal year.

The company’s Americas division, which is run from Irvine, saw adjusted sales fall 5.7% for the year to $574.97 million.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the Americas region rose less than 1% to $34.31 million.

Meantime, business in Europe, Australia and Asia continue to be challenged and sales fell as a result of store closures, part of the company’s larger turnaround plan that also includes fewer suppliers and line offerings.

A regulatory filing from the company Monday showed its Billabong and Element brands valued as worthless with the company’s entire brand portfolio valued at $81.49 million.

Meantime, Oregon-based outdoor accessories and apparel brand DaKine, which was sold to Palo Alto private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners for $64.5 million this year, was its highest valued brand at $33.17 million.

Costa Mesa-based RVCA is the next highest valued brand at $19.47 million.

Billabong hopes to turn the page on its troubled business with new long-term financing struck with a group led by Altamont Capital, a deal the company said could be wrapped up within a few weeks. If the deal goes through, former Oakley Inc. Chief Executive Scott Olivet would be put in charge of the troubled company.

The Billabong board is also considering an alternative proposal from U.S. hedge funds Centerbridge Partners LP and Oaktree Capital Management LP.

"We are nearing the end of a long process that has caused distraction, impacted on staff morale and has been very costly," said Billabong International Chair Ian Pollard in a statement.

The period of uncertainty in the company’s direction and potential sale talks has dragged on for the better part of a year now with several executives leaving, including the recent departure of Americas President Paul Naude in Irvine along with Chief Executive Launa Inman in Australia.

Billabong lost Rob McCarty, Billabong men’s senior design director, along with Billabong Vice President of Merchandising and Design Terry Strumpf more recently. Strumpf also served as president of the Xcel brand.

A replacement for Strumpf at Xcel has not yet been named, a company spokesperson said.