In an attempt to turn around its business after a loss-making final quarter and year, skateboard-shoe maker Vans Inc is closing operations in Argentina and Brazil, slashing $8 to $10 million more in expenses and revamping skate park and retail operations.

The company lost $14.9 million for the quarter ending 31 May compared with a profit of $2.7 million in the same period last year. Sales fell $21.4 million to $63.8 million, with US wholesale revenue down 46.7 per cent.

For the year, Vans lost $2.6 million compared with a $15.4 million profit the previous year. Sales were down $8.8 million to $332.4 million, with US wholesale revenue down 11 per cent.

Chief executive Gary Schoenfeld said skateboarding shoes in the mass market were losing ground to basketball and retro styles.

Vans says it will turn to more fashion-driven offerings to try to win back some of those customers, especially women.