Billabong profits wiped out by write-downs

Billabong profits wiped out by write-downs

Billabong profits wiped out by write-downs

Posted 27 August 2012, 11:03 AEST

Surfwear retailer Billabong says it is still in takeover talks with a private equity company after reporting its first annual loss since 2001.

Billabong reported an annual net loss of $276 million, due to $336 million of one-off costs, as it tries to restructure its struggling retail business.

The company says its net profit was $33.5 million excluding those one-off items, on the back of a 7.9 per cent fall in revenue to $1.55 billion.

In June private equity firm TPG International offered to buy the company for $695 million, or $1.45 a share, valuing the bid just under $700 million.

That offer came after TPG's higher initial approach worth around $850 million was rejected as inadequate by Billabong's board in February.

Billabong has given TPG access to its financial records, but maintains the proposed price does not reflect the true value of the group.

The retailer also unveiled a transformation plan, which includes closing another 82 stores in the current financial year, selling assets and discounting stock, to boost its next results.

Billabong already shut 58 stores in financial year 2012.

The company says it expects trading conditions to remain difficult over the next year, however it is forecasting a better profit in 2013 as a result of cost savings from the store closures and other benefits from its restructure.

Before tax, interest and depreciation earnings are forecast to be $100-110 million, up from $84 million this year when one-off items were excluded.