SYDNEY — Shares in Billabong International Ltd. surged as much as 8 percent in early trading Thursday after the company reported its first full-year profit in four years.
For the 12 months ended June 30, Billabong posted a net profit after tax of 4.2 million Australian dollars, or $3.2 million at average exchange for the period, on global revenues of 1.05 billion Australian dollars, or $811 million, up 2.6 percent.
Excluding significant items and discontinued businesses, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the period rose 8.8 percent to 65.7 million, or $51 million – Billabong’s first full-year EBITDA growth since 2008.
Sales for the Billabong brand rose 13.1 percent in the U.S. wholesale market on a constant currency basis and accelerated in the second half. RVCA sales were up 15.3 percent in the second half in the same channel and grew 12.6 percent globally over the year.
“Two years into our turnaround, Billabong is back to full-year profit and back to doing what it does best – building great global brands” stated Billabong chief executive officer Neil Fiske. “Challenges remain but this result confirms our confidence in the resilience of our brands and provides the conviction to see through the complex changes we’re undertaking globally to deliver sustained, long-term profitable growth”.
After the initial market excitement, by midday Billabong’s shares had settled back to 637 Australian cents, or $0.45, up 1.1 percent. Billabong’s shares closed at 0.645 Australian cents, or $0.46, up 2.4 percent.
According to IG Market Strategist Evan Lucas, the company still has a lot of work to do, following years of declining profits and sales and 18 months of corporate turmoil, which witnessed four takeover bids and two refinancing offers. Ultimately the company accepted a debt and equity proposal from American hedge funds Oaktree Capital and Centerbridge Partners.
“The result is okay,” said Lucas. “Clearly America is the core market. Year on year they’re up, which is nice. Europe has swung out of a loss … but Asia Pacific went backwards. Clearly without America, the results would have been just as bad [as previous years]. They are not out of the woods yet by any stretch.”