Billabong CFO leaves at crucial moment
It is hard to believe that it is just a coincidence. Billabong has just announced an offer to buy the company led by Paul Naude, former Director for the group, and his financial partners Sycamore Partners Management and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Today, it announces that Craig White - CFO for the last 7 years - has left the company with immediate effect.
Is this a positive sign, then, for Paul Naude and his offer of 422 million euros? Not necessarily. The departure of White also comes after the group released a press release lowering forecasts for annual profit. While at a shareholder meeting earlier this year the group estimated an EBITDA to be between 80 and 87 million euros, the group has lowered this figure to a more realistic 67 to 73 million euros for the year 2012/2013, due to end in June.
The profit forecast adjustment come mainly from order cancellations for the winter season in southern Europe along with weaker-than-expected sales. Sales are also looking slower in Latin America, particularly in Brazil. In North American, Canada sales are suffering and on a global scale, Element and Dakine sales are stagnant. Even the group’s West 49 stores, who actually saw growth in September, has seen a sales decline in recent months. The group’s believes this trend will continue into the summer. Despite such declines, the Billabong brand and RVCA have both seen slight increases in sales figures.
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