• FY net loss AUD233.7m, down from AUD859.5m
  • Global sales up 1.1% to AUD1.1bn
  • Americas remains “biggest challenge”

Surfwear-led business Billabong International says its turnaround strategy is working after full-year losses were reduced and sales rose in Europe and Asia Pacific.

The Australian company posted a 1.1% revenue increase in the year to the end of June, excluding discontinued businesses, but including SurfStitch and Swell.

Comparable store sales in Europe were up 5.9% on last year, and sales in Asia Pacific rose 1.1%, but revenues in the Americas fell by 9.9%, Billabong said.

“In the nine months since announcing our seven-part turnaround strategy we have significantly stabilised, restructured and refocused the business,” said CEO Neil Fiske.

“The turnaround is gaining traction. As said at the half-year, we are at the early stages of a complex, difficult turnaround.

“The progress we have announced today will take time to fully flow through the business, but I am pleased with the early indicators of success.”

The Billabong brand is now said to be on track to register wholesale growth in the US for the first time in several years, based on forward orders for fiscal 2015, and it registered a 5% sales increase in Asia Pacific in the past six months.

But, while European operations have stabilised, business in the Americas was hit by restructuring in Brazil and a weak Canadian action sports market, Fiske said.

“Our biggest challenge and our greatest opportunity in the 12 months ahead is the Americas,” he added.