AUSTRALIA: Billabong buoyant after good H1
Surfwear business Billabong International is optimistic on full-year finances after recording a 15% profit hike during the first half of the year.
Net profit after tax was A$79.5m (US$58.9m) for the six months to 31 December compared to A$69.3m in the same period last year - a 14% increase.
Group sales were up 16%, or 18.5% in constant currency terms, to $484.3m from $417.5m.
The company cited "continued strong performances in all key regions", with European sales up 9.3% in Australian dollars and Americas sales up 24.5%.
Billabong's chief executive Derek O'Neill said: "Global demand for boardsports products continues to grow and the group's multibrand and multi-region strategy is ensuring the Company remains an industry leader."
O'Neill said business outside the company's three main regions has accelerated, helped by better communication between areas.
During the period, the company assumed management of the US-based Billabong outlet store operator, adding 11 outlets to the company's US retail unit and giving the company more control over distribution of end-of-season inventory.
Billabong now owns and operates a total of 108 stores globally and a further 39 licensed stores. Retail turnover from Billabong-owned stores is expected to pass $100m in the current year, the company said.
The company said it expects "continued robust conditions in the Americas and Europe in the second half" but "subdued" activity within Australasia.
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