Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater of the USA rides a wave during a promotional event at Sydney's Manly Beach. (Reuters)
Australian surfwear company Billabong International posted a tripled net loss as as sales declined in both its established and domestic markets, sending the company's stock plunging to an all time low, .
The 40-year old surfwear brand reported a net loss of A$859.5m ($776.12m, £498.3m, €580.2m), for the twelve months ending 30 June, 2013, against a net loss of A$275.6m for the year before.
Billabong's share price has dropped more than 60% over the past twelve months.
The firm was born in 1973 when it was established by Gordon Merchant. It rose to its highest market value of A$3.84bn in 2007.
Billabong's global sale revenue dropped 13.5% to $1,340m during the period. The company's net debt rose 28% to A$207m over the fiscal year, while its operating income was pruned 51%.
The company has cut 15% of jobs in its European division as well as closing 158 poor performing retail stores and reducing over 75% of its suppliers.
Billabong has seen poor sales growth in its key market, the US; also sales in the domestic market have dropped significantly. The value of its brand dropped to A$90m at the end of the financial year ending in June from A$614m in December 2011.
"Financial stability is critical to rebuilding Billabong. Liquidity has been secured and we are within weeks of finalising our long term funding arrangements," said Billabong's chairman Ian Pollard in a statement.
"Our shareholders, our staff and our various business partners can be confident that we have a strong future following the most challenging period in the company's history."
In order to improve the poor performing business, the company has replaced its chief executive officer as wellas closing stores and selling some assets to generate proceeds.
The company has been getting takeover offers since the time former CEO Launa Inman, who was appointed in May 2012, took charge. The company appointed Myres as the acting CEO this month.
Billabong, which is reeling under mounting debt, sold its DaKine brand to its rival US's private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners for A$70m. The proceeds are used to reduce debt and provide working capital, said the company.
Billabong also confirmed that it been offered financial help from US-based Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital this month.
Pollard said that the company is looking "forward to refocus" and strengthen its brands and business.
"We are nearing the end of a long process that has caused distraction, impacted on staff morale and has been very costly," Pollard added.
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