Billabong International Limited saw a 14.7% increase in net profit after tax for the first half of the company's fiscal year. Strong performances in the Americas and Europe, coupled with a solid result in Australasia, lifted net profit after tax to AU$79.5 million ($59.8 mm) compared to AU$69.3 million ($50.9 mm) in the previous corresponding half year.

Global sales revenue of AU$484.3 million ($364.3 mm) was up 16.0% (18.5% in constant currency terms) on the AU$417.5 million ($306.4 mm) in the prior corresponding period, while earnings per share lifted 14.2% to AU38.6 cents (29 cents) per share.

Directors declared an interim dividend of 20.5 cents per share, fully franked. The dividend is up 17.1% from 17.5 cents a share in the prior corresponding period.
Directors intend to maintain a full year payout ratio of approximately 62%.

Billabong International chief executive officer Derek O’Neill said the result underlined
the global capabilities of the company and its brands.
“The group had a very strong sales increase in the Americas, continued
improvements in Europe and good growth in Australasia following an exceptionally
buoyant prior corresponding half in Australia,” said Mr O’Neill.
“There was also very pleasing margin improvement, particularly in Europe where
EBITDA margins jumped from 17.8% to 20.4%.

“Margins firmed in the Americas to 19.1%, while Australasian margins remained
exceptionally healthy at 34.9%.”

Group EBITDA margins of 25.7% were in line with the prior year.

The core Billabong brand again demonstrated its global strength with particularly
strong sales in the Americas and Europe. element continued to grow at healthy
levels and the development of the company’s progressive smaller brands remained
on track.

“The company has consistently demonstrated its ability to nurture, develop and
extend brands and this long-term focus and commitment remains unchanged,” said
Mr O’Neill.

“At a retail level, the company now owns and operates in excess of 100 stores
globally and this network is operating at margins similar to those achieved across the

Mr O’Neill said “The company was well positioned to maintain momentum throughout
the second half, with the continued strength in the Americas and Europe offsetting
the softness in Australasia.”

“In the absence of any unforeseen circumstances, I reaffirm the company’s
previously stated guidance of 15% growth in EPS in the current year.” Mr O’Neill