Huntington Beach, Calif. — Neither an acquirer or an acquiree be.
That was among the messages delivered by Bob McKnight, Quiksilver chairman and chief executive officer, at the firm’s annual meeting here Friday.
The business of surf, skate, snowboard and other youth lifestyle apparel has been strong enough that the firm has been approached by others as an acquisition target, but the company hasn’t yet heard the offer that would pull it off its course to become a $1 billion firm.
"I believe we’re on the radar screen," McKnight said in response to a question from the audience. I’ve had conversations with other ceo’s, but nothing’s gotten serious."
At the same time, Quiksilver isn’t seeking to buy more companies after coming off its buying binge in 2002 that included the purchase of Beach Street Inc., operator of 26 Quiksilver outlet stores, and its Asia-Pacific license in 2002. Those developments and the rapid growth of its Roxy brand helped the company, in the year ended Oct. 31, expand sales 13.7 percent to $705.5 million, with European revenues growing 26.3 percent to $282.7 million. Net income outpaced topline growth, expanding 34.3 percent to $37.6 million. Its stock in the past year has appreciated 42 percent while the Standard & Poor’s 500 has gone down 24 percent.
On Friday, shareholders approved a 2-for-1 stock split, effective May 8 for holders of record April 30, while shares closed up 49 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $31.39 in New York Stock Exchange trading.
Since beginning the new year, Quiksilver’s seen first-quarter earnings more than double, up 112.8 percent to $6.6 million, while sales rose 30.7 percent to $192.1 million. Additionally, the firm has dipped its toe in more deeply to the western Pacific, partnering with Hong Kong-based Glorious Sun Enterprises to open five to 10 stores in the area by early 2004 and also focus its Asian sourcing activities.
"We’re able to move forward with one voice with worldwide control of our brand, distribution and image," McKnight said. "The tone of our business is excellent and that’s patently gratifying as a number of our competitors are struggling."Chief financial officer Steve Brink expects the Asia-Pacific region to represent 9 percent of business in 2003, a new sales source replacing royalty income from the region.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast