BILLABONG SHARES UP 11 PER CENT

BILLABONG SHARES UP 11 PER CENT

SURFWEAR retailer Billabong (ASX:BBG) was one of the ASX 200 top gainers today after an 11 per cent rise saw shares hit $4.34.

The share price has been on the hop since the company’s Tuesday AGM on the Gold Coast after it announced that sales were up 25 per cent in the first quarter.

Executives rejoiced this week after sales finally showed on the balance sheet following the group’s voracious acquisition drive and the transition following natural disasters, a heated Aussie dollar and the impacts of e-commerce on its bricks and mortar purchases.

Billabong shares plummeted 23 per cent to under $4 a unit recently following sovereign debts fears in Europe.

Net profit for the Gold Coast’s largest company and the second most powerful surfwear brand behind Quiksilver dropped by 18.4 per cent to $119 million for FY11 as the global retail slump lingers – while revenue for the period actually rose 13.5 per cent to $1.7 billion.

Billabong CEO Derek O’Neill says the strategy to build a more robust business model in response to the changing consumer environment is on track.

He says the group anticipates strong underlying growth in the 2011-12 financial year as the benefits of vertical margins, cost rationalisation and synergies from acquired assets flow through the business.

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