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Billabong Posts Fourth Consecutive Loss as Sales Slump 4.6%

Billabong International Ltd., Australia’s largest surfwear company, posted its fourth consecutive half-yearly loss after A$65.6 million ($59 million) of one-time costs compounded a 4.6 percent fall in sales.

Net losses were A$126.3 million in the six months ended December, the Gold Coast, Australia-based company said in a regulatory statement today. That compares with a A$536.6 million loss a year earlier.

The owner of the Element and RVCA brands has set out to rebuild itself under new Chief Executive Officer Neil Fiske after a drop in sales put annual revenue below the company’s operating costs amid store closures, firings and a breach of debt terms. Expectations of a turnaround had driven the stock up 62 percent since Billabong accepted a refinancing plan from Centerbridge Partners LP and Oaktree Capital Management LP Sept. 19.

“This was always going to be an ugly result,” Todd Guyot, an analyst at Moelis & Co. in Sydney, said before the earnings announcement. “Other than in the Americas, the underlying businesses have stabilized, but stabilized off a very low base.”

Billabong fell 1.4 percent to 73 Australian cents in Sydney yesterday, paring its gains this year to 45 percent. The stock has outperformed the 1.1 percent increase in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.

It’s the best-performing non-mining stock in the S&P/ASX 300 index in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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