Australian surfing brand Billabong has managed a 25.7 million Australian dollar (18 million euro) net profit in the first half of its fiscal year 2014/15 - the first profit in three years.
Billabong rises from the dead
In the past few years, Billabong faced more than a few problems: having lost touch with its customers, turnover dwindled and losses grew. Several board changes and failed acquisitions did not help the company one bit.
A thorough restructuring program has seemingly reignited Billabong, turning the 126.3 million Australian dollar (90 million euro) loss in the first half of its fiscal year 2013/4 into a profit this time around. A refinancing operation has helped lower its net 175 million dollar (120 million euro) debt at the end of 2013 to 56.7 million dollars at the end of 2014 (40 million euro).
Turnover still dropped
CEO Neil Fiske admits the company still has a lot to do commercially, as the new profit was achieved mainly because of lower costs. Turnover still dropped from 667 million dollars to 537.5 million dollars (465 to 375 million dollars) in the first half of the year, which means Billabong will have to increase its commercial endeavours.
One of the changes the company intends to tackle, is its online experience: "We have not invested enough over the past few years" CEO Fiske said about its online department. Billabong does have full control over its online platform now, which "will allow us to fully focus on our omnichannel strategy, starting with Australia".
Six of its brands sold through Australian multibrand stores will now be bundled into one brand, hopefully improving its commercial viability.