Billabong International Limited reported a 13.8% lift in net profit after tax (NPAT) for the six months to 31 December 2006 to AUD$90.5 million ($69.1 mm), compared to AUD$79.5 million ($59.8 mm) in the previous corresponding half, with Group sales revenue rising 26.1% to AUD$610.7 million ($466.3 mm) from AUD$484.3 million ($364.3 mm)previously.
Billabong International chief executive Derek ONeill said the company continued to post strong growth worldwide.
“All regions reached record sales levels and it is a result that reflects the growing global demand for our products,” said Mr ONeill.
“The Group result was excellent and it was particularly pleasing to see Europe match the robust growth we have been achieving for some time in the Americas.
“The areas outside of Australia continue to grow as a percentage of our overall business and there are strong indications the demand has continued into the second
Australasian sales revenue was up 14.2% to AUD$200.3 million ($152.9 mm) and EBITDA was down 6.1% to AUD$63.4 million ($48.4 mm). EBITDA margins were lower at 31.6% compared to 38.4% in the prior year, principally driven by investment in new growth areas as noted above, a weaker currency for product purchases compared to the prior year and some increases in product and freight costs.
Sales revenues in local currencies were particularly strong with Japan increasing in excess of 35% and New Zealand
increasing by approximately 90%, principally driven by the acquisition of Amazon.
Sales revenue in the Americas increased 31.2% to AUD$286.3 million ($218.6 mm) and EBITDA of AUD$51.1 million ($39.0 mm) was 36.6% higher than the prior year.
Canada and owned operations in South America grew strongly, posting local currency sales revenue increases over the
prior year in excess of 65% and 35% respectively.
Sales revenue in Europe increased 39.5% to AUD$124.1 million ($94.8 mm) and EBITDA of AUD$22.1 million (16.9 mm) was 35.3% higher than the prior year.
Europes strong 2006 sales revenue and EBITDA result demonstrates significantly improved business performance and
positions the region well for continued strong growth.
Spain, Italy and Germany all recorded strong double digit growth.
Overall Group EBITDA rose 11.8% in constant currency terms or 11.2% as reported in Australian dollars, while earnings per share lifted 14.0% to 43.7 cents per share (33.37 cents. Net profit increased 14.3% to AUD$90.7 million ($69.3 mm) for the first half.
Mr ONeill said that, in the absence of any unforeseen circumstances, the continued global momentum and strong demand is expected to deliver the full-year earnings
per share growth target of 15% in constant currency terms. However, a one-off $4.5 million benefit relating to the timing of recognition of royalty income for income tax
purposes is expected to push full-year EPS growth to approximately 18% in constant currency terms.
In other Billabong news, Gary Pemberton has resigned as a non-executive Director of the company.
Chairman Ted Kunkel said, “Gary oversaw the challenging transition from private to public company and he was instrumental in building Billabong into one of the great Australian businesses,” said Mr Kunkel.
“At a broader level, Gary has had a distinguished business career and I take this opportunity to congratulate and thank him for his contribution to Australian business.