Sports Business/03/01/2018

Surfwear specialist Billabong struggles with high losses

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Billabong is still in the red in the first half of 2017/18. Sales by the surfwear specialist fell further to 371 million US dollars, a decrease of 3.1 percent or 1.5 percent after currency adjustments. According to Billabong, the company reported a loss of $14.3 million.

Billabong struggles with poor business figures
Billabong struggles with poor business figures

Billabong CEO Neil Fiske sees the reason for the plight of Billabong in "ongoing systemic and structural changes" in the sporting goods trade. These include the growing e-commerce market and difficult conditions in the action sports sector. 

Billbong includes - in addition to Billabong itself - the brands RVCA, Element, von Zipper and some other small brands. According to Billabong, only RVCA reported positive figures with 9.6 percent growth in each region. By contrast, Element recorded a 13 percent decline in sales.


Ian Pollard warns against failure of the takeover by boardriders.

In view of the crisis, Billabong's leadership stressed the importance of the planned acquisition by Boardriders Inc. The owner of Boardriders Inc, Oaktree Capital Management, already owns around 19 percent of Billabong's shares. Billabong competitor Quiksilver belongs to Boardriders. 

The corporation offers the other shareholders an Australian dollar per share. Billabong is thus estimated at an enterprise value of 198 million Australian dollars. Billabong Chairman Ian Pollard warned against drastic changes in strategy, capital structure and operations if the deal were to fail.