Billabong in good shape says CEO

Billabong in good shape says CEO

SURF retailer Billabong has posted net FY profit of $152.8 million – dropping 13 per cent on the corresponding 2007-08 figure of $176.4 million.

Its operating net profit, which excluded a non-cash impairment charge of $7.4 million, was $160.2 million, down 9.2 per cent. The operating result was at the bottom of the company's guidance range for a profit between $160 million and $165 million.

Billabong declared a final dividend of 18c, down from 28.5c a share for the prior period.

Billabong International CEO Derek O’Neill, said the global downturn has had an adverse affect on the brand, but was now ready to ‘participate in any recovery’.

“Given the lack of retailer confidence, the steep slowdown in consumer confidence spending in various global economies and the extreme volatility in exchange rates, the Company has emerged in good shape,” said O’Neill in a statement to the ASX today.

A recent rapid appreciation in the Australian dollar exchange rate against the US dollar and Euro, had reduced its operating profit from an expected $163.1 million. But Europe remained a standout performer, with reported sales lifting 23.4% to $388 million. Sales in Australasia equated to $444.3 million – up 7.6%.

The company raised $290 million earlier this year to reduce debt. The offer was launched at an offer price of $7.50 per share and was oversubscribed.

Billabong shares were down 4.8 per cent today at around $9.70 per share. The ASX took a 1.5% tumble as punters absorbed the $2.b UBS Telstar trade.

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