SYDNEY Aug 27 Australia's Billabong
International Ltd on Tuesday said it would conclude a
refinancing deal within weeks as its annual net loss more than
tripled and sales of its surf and streetware continued to
decline in key markets including the United States.
The company is considering two refinancing offers, one led
by U.S. private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners and
another from U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management
and Centerbridge Partners.
"We are within weeks of finalising our long-term funding
arrangements," chairman Ian Pollard said in a statement, without
mentioning which party's offer was the preferred option.
Billabong posted a net loss after tax of A$859.5 million
($777.80 million) for the year ended June 30, including
significant items such as impairment charges on brands and
goodwill. That compared with a net loss of A$275.6 million a
Adjusted net profit, excluding one-off items, fell to A$7.7
million, from A$33.5 million a year ago. That was below average
analysts' forecasts of A$10.8 million, according to Thomson
Reuters Starmine data.
Sales continued to slide in the Americas, Billabong's
biggest market, following the closure of a number of
underperforming stores, the company said. Store closures and
weak consumer sentiment hit sales in Australia, while heavy
discounting impacted revenue in Europe.
Struggling to pay off debts left over from an ill-timed
expansion as its brands fell out of favour, Billabong has issued
a series of profit warnings since rejecting a A$850 million bid
from private equity firm TPG Capital Management in February
Billabong's shares dropped 4.4 percent to A$0.54 by 0006
GMT, against a 0.2 percent slip in the broader market. It hit a
record low of A$0.12 in June and traded above A$14 in 2007.