Sep 1, 2014
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Billabong reduces losses for 2013-2014

Sep 1, 2014

With a new strategy, a round of new hires, the sale of several assets including Dakine and the retail stores West 49, Billabong’s 2013-2014 fiscal year ending on June 30 has clearly been a transition period.

The group is refocusing on Billabong, Element and RVCA. It closed 49 stores that did not meet performance standards.

In previous years, the management has aimed to improve financial indicators in order to make the group more desirable in case of a buy-out. Over the past year, CEO Neil Fiske, who joined the company late last year, has advocated a long-term strategy.

The numbers don’t tell the true story of the impact of the decisions that have been made. The board sports group, which has decided to refocus on Billabong, Element and RVCA, recorded a turnover of 864 million euros (1.218 billion Australian dollars) with a negative Ebitda at - 36 million (-52.5 million dollars) and a net loss of 166 million (234 million dollars). The previous year's losses amounted to over 600 million (859 million dollars).

However, the group states that excluding assets sold (Dakine and the West 49 retail network), as well as restructuring costs, its sales rose by 1.5% after adjustment for exchange rate fluctuations to 794 million euros (1,119 million dollars).
Yet the situation remains complicated for Billabong.

Before taking into account exchange rate fluctuations, turnover was down by 5%. The biggest decline concerns the Americas with -10% to 314 million euros, with sharp declines in the Canadian and Brazilian markets. Europe fell by 7.5% to 139 million euros and the Asia-Pacific, the most important region, saw a rise of over 1%, driven by a 4.5% increase in the second half to 341 million euros.

Regarding profitability, the Americas posted an Ebitda of 16.7 million euros, down 55% from last year. In the Asia-Pacific, EBITDA increased by 7.8% to 24.6 million and in Europe, losses were reduced from 7.4 to 6 million.

In total, excluding the businesses that it has sold and the various costs associated with restructuring, Ebitda was down by over 30% to 37.3 million.

The company has not ventured to deliver its projections for 2014-2015, but its CEO emphasized that sales indicators for the United States were on the rise for the first time in several years.

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