• H1 profit down 15% to AUD69.7m (US$62.3m)
  • Group sales fall 10.8% to AUD721.0m
  • Reaffirms FY profit guidance
The company remained cautious in its outlook for the full financial year

The company remained cautious in its outlook for the full financial year

Surfwear maker Billabong International Ltd today (19 February) posted a 15% drop in first-half profit, but said it continues to perform to expectation in a difficult global retail environment.

Net profit for the six months to 31 December fell to AUD69.7m (US$62.3m), down from AUD82.4m a year earlier, which the company largely blamed on the strength of the Australian dollar.

It was also hurt by a 6.2% slowdown in American sales and a 2.6% drop in Europe, which dragged group sales down 10.8% to AUD721.0m. Sales in Australasia slipped 1.4%, the firm said.

Billabong CEO Derek O’Neill said the result was in line with guidance, and pointed to strong growth in countries including Germany and Australia.

He also noted some signs of improvement in the company’s own retail operations in North America.

Gross margins also strengthened to 55.5% from 53.8% last time.

Mr O’Neill said the company remained cautious in its outlook for the full financial year, but reaffirmed guidance for a 5% rise in profit in constant currency terms.